Home PC News Advocacy groups raise concerns over Google’s $2.1 billion Fitbit bid

Advocacy groups raise concerns over Google’s $2.1 billion Fitbit bid

(Reuters) — Twenty advocacy teams from the United States, Europe, Latin America, and elsewhere signed a press release Wednesday urging regulators to be cautious of Google’s $2.1 billion bid for health tracker firm Fitbit due to privateness and competitors issues.

The 20 organizations — which embody the U.S.-based Public Citizen, Access Now from Europe and the Brazilian Institute of Consumer Defense — argued that the deal would broaden Alphabet subsidiary Google’s already appreciable clout in digital markets.

Acquiring Fitbit would give Google such intimate details about customers as what number of steps they take every day, the standard of their sleep, and their coronary heart charges.

“Past experience shows that regulators must be very wary of any promises made by merging parties about restricting the use of the acquisition target’s data. Regulators must assume that Google will in practice utilize the entirety of Fitbit’s currently independent unique, highly sensitive data set in combination with its own,” the teams stated.

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Australian and Canadian teams have been among the many signatories.

A Google spokesperson stated the tech wearables area was crowded.

“This deal is about devices, not data,” she stated. “We believe the combination of Google’s and Fitbit’s hardware efforts will increase competition in the sector.”

Google introduced the deal in November to tackle rivals within the crowded marketplace for health trackers and good watches. Fitbit’s market share has been threatened by deep-pocketed firms like Apple and Samsung.

Australia’s competitors authority stated this month that it could have issues in regards to the deal and would make a remaining resolution in August.

EU antitrust regulators will determine by July 20 whether or not to clear the take care of or with out concessions or open an extended investigation.

In Washington, Google is underneath antitrust investigation by the Justice Department, a congressional committee, and dozens of states for allegedly utilizing its large market energy to hurt smaller rivals.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz, enhancing by Lisa Shumaker.)

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