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Google agrees to not use Fitbit’s knowledge for advertisements, earns merger approval from EU


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Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

  • The European Fee has permitted Google’s acquisition of Fitbit.
  • Nevertheless, the corporate has agreed to a number of concessions that can restrict what it will possibly do with the info it collects from Fitbit gadgets.
  • Google has additionally agreed to honor the EU’s situations for not less than 10 years.

Greater than a 12 months after it acquired Fitbit again in November 2019, Google has obtained approval for the transaction from the European Fee.

As anticipated, Google needed to comply with a number of situations, which it should honor for not less than 10 years, to get the EU’s blessing. Most notably, it informed the Fee it gained’t use the well being and wellness knowledge it collects by Fitbit gadgets to enhance its advertisements enterprise. It’s additionally obligated to keep up free entry to Fitbit’s Net API, which permits builders to create apps that entry knowledge collected by Fitbit’s health trackers and sensible scales. Underneath the phrases of the settlement, Fitbit customers within the European Financial Space can have the choice to forestall the corporate from feeding their well being and wellness knowledge to different Google providers corresponding to Maps.

Associated: Making sense of the Google-Fitbit acquisition

One other important side of the approval pertains to Google’s stewardship of Android. The corporate has agreed to proceed freely licensing the software program APIs {hardware} producers require to make their wearables work with the corporate’s cellular working system. The EU has additionally imposed situations that forestall the corporate from circumventing or dishonest that requirement. As an illustration, the settlement covers Google’s future enhancements to options like GPS and Bluetooth entry. The corporate can also’t degrade the person expertise on third-party wearables by displaying error messages and permission requests in a means that’s discriminatory in opposition to a third-party participant.

Approval from the European Fee is a significant milestone for Google as it really works in direction of closing the deal, however the firm nonetheless has but to realize regulatory assist from the US authorities. And greater than the rest, that will find yourself delaying or scuttling the deal. The corporate is at present the topic of two separate antitrust lawsuits within the nation, together with one lead by the Justice Division. These fits are targeted on Google’s search and advert companies. Nonetheless, it’s a must to think about will probably be tough for the corporate to persuade lawmakers to approve a splashy acquisition whereas it’s accused of anti-competitive practices.


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