In a blog post Advertise Rick Austerloh, head of Google Devices, said the Fitbit acquisition since fall 2019 has been complete – however, talk of the responsible US competition authority has been forgotten. In response to the announcement, the US Department of Justice said that the agency’s $ 2.1 billion takeover probe remains pending.
Accordingly, Google’s hasty statement is very strange, especially considering that in addition to the United States, even the Australian authorities were not clearly aware of the agreement. But that hasn’t stopped the search giant from announcing “good news.” In the blog post in question, Osterloh treats closing the acquisition as a fact, adding that Fitbit will work closely with the winning Google team to develop new tools and services, and also confirming that user security and privacy will be a top priority, leaving users in control of their information. Incidentally, Fitbit currently has around 29 million active users.
The post highlights that the acquisition is about devices, not data, and that Google has worked with several regulators around the world to develop the security standards the company deals with with the personal information of Fitbit users (separate from other services). These include the European Commission’s three commercial terms which should ensure that Google does not use the data collected to serve ads targeted in the European Economic Area, that it will maintain Fitbit’s web health API, and that it will also maintain the equipment manufacturers’ APIs. Third-party original wearables – the obligation to get the green light from the European Commission has to be made by Google for ten years. The company said it did, but the listing does not include US approval.
The Ars Technica I contacted Google about the matter, and a company spokesperson said that the company had cooperated with the Ministry of Justice over the past 14 months in its comprehensive investigation, and now the waiting period with the agency is over until the acquisition is complete, so the ministry did not do and object to the acquisition – however, he added, the company Willing to work with regulators if other problems arise. However, the ministry does not see the situation as clear, so it is not yet known if the deal can truly be considered closed.
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