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Google may take over Fitbit from European Commission, but …

Google may take over Fitbit as it showed high interest in acquiring but European Commission thinks it would affect competitors and consumers
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Google may take over Fitbit

It has now been over a year since Google announced its intention to acquire fitness tracker manufacturer Fitbit. Since then, regulatory bodies have been addressing the issue, exploring how that acquisition would affect competitors and consumers. The European Commission has completed its investigation and concludes that the acquisition may proceed, provided the search engine giant adheres to a set of privacy and user data guidelines.

For example, Google must keep Fitbit’s user data separate from its advertising business. Fitbit’s data relates to a user’s health, so that’s a good thing. Google must also ensure that Europeans can choose to keep Fitbit data and different apps separate, such as Assistant and Maps. Finally, the company should maintain free use of the Fitbit web API so that it doesn’t negatively impact third parties using it.

The search engine giant has already pledged to keep available developer tools and underlying technology open source so that no one is negatively impacted. Should the company make further improvements to the way wearables communicate with smartphones, it should add such data to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). As a result, competitors also gain access to that technology and the platform holder does not have an unfair advantage over them.

Furthermore, the company is allowed to own its own wearables not give unfair advantages or make the experience on wearables from other manufacturers worse. The European Commission will monitor whether Google complies with the guidelines. The committee does this by appointing someone who is responsible for this. The person will monitor the company closely for the next ten years. Meanwhile, the company is still awaiting approval from US regulators, but various anti-trust lawsuits can make that very difficult.

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