The EU approves Google’s takeover of Fitbit

(Pocket-lint) – Google’s takeover of Fitbit has been approved by the EU after it was called in for investigation in August. It still needs US approval to close the deal, though, and that may be a challenge given that Google is currently undergoing legal issues in the US. 

The EU says the “proposed transaction leads to very limited horizontal overlaps between the activities of Google and Fitbit.”

To massage the approval through, Google had to promise not to use Fitbit health data for advertising purposes, contrary to its stance on other products.

For at least a decade, Google will have to keep Fitbit completely separate from its advertising businesses and EU users will be able to stop integration with other Google services should they wish to – including Maps and Assistant, for example. 

Google will also have to keep giving other wearable device makers open access to Android. 

The EU’s Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager said: “We can approve the proposed acquisition of Fitbit by Google because the commitments will ensure that the market for wearables and the nascent digital health space will remain open and competitive.

“The commitments will determine how Google can use the data collected for ad purposes, how interoperability between competing wearables and Android will be safeguarded and how users can continue to share health and fitness data, if they choose to.”

Writing by Dan Grabham.

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