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EU launches probe into Google’s acquisition of Fitbit

The European Commission has launched an in-depth probe into Google’s takeover of Fitbit, it said in a statement on August 4. The Commission said it was concerned that the proposed transaction will further entrench Google's market position in the online advertising markets by increasing the already vast amount of data that it uses for personalisation of the ads it serves and displays. Google had announced the acquisition of wearables company FitBit for $2.1 billion in November 2019, to help invest further in Wear OS and introduce Made by Google wearables into the market. The transaction was notified to the Commission on 15 June 2020. The watchdog said its investigation should be completed by 9 December. The Commission’s major concerns Google had informed the Commission on July 13, that it will create a data silo to separately store data collected from wearables. It also committed that Google will not use that data for advertising. However, the Commission said that the data silo commitment proposed by Google is insufficient to clearly dismiss doubts about the effects of the transaction. It added that the data silo remedy did not cover all the data that Google would access as a result of the transaction and would be valuable for advertising purposes. The Commission is also of the opinion that by acquiring Fitbit, Google would acquire the database maintained by Fitbit about its users' health and fitness, and also the technology to develop a database similar to Fitbit’s. In addition, the Commission will examine: The effects of…

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