The European Commission (EC) has launched a full investigation into Google’s planned takeover of Fitbit.
The EC fears that the agreement could further strengthen Google’s position in the online advertising market, as Google obtains a wealth of data that it can use for personalized advertising, the Commission said in a press release.
Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the investigation aimed to ensure that Google’s control over the data collected through the Fitbit device doesn’t harm competition. Google’s promise not to use Fitbit data for advertising to address competition concerns is insufficient.
Privacy and consumer organizations have called on authorities to block the agreement. They are concerned about the privacy of users and violations of antitrust rules, the AP agency said.
The Commission has 90 working days to make a decision. Initiating an in-depth investigation is a standard step, and it is not possible to deduce what the result will be.
Google announced an agreement to take over Fitbit last November. Fitbit is a pioneer in the field of fitness bracelets. Its devices allow users to monitor physical activity and health. Thanks to the acquisition, Google will be able to compete with companies such as Apple and Samsung.