The European Commission, on Wednesday; declared that the regulators of the European Union, also known as EU, are overlooking the Alphabet unit responsible for Google’s fitness tracker maker Fitbit; have extended their investigation further until December 23.
The European Union extended an investigation into the Google and Fitbit deal last month. It added that Google’s promise to not use Fitbit’s data; for the purpose of advertising that will cater to the concerns of the competition was marked to be inadequate.
The European Union executive, in an email, mentioned, “The Commission extended the deadline in agreement with the parties.”
Google had earlier claimed that the combination of its hardware with that of Fitbit’s will surely increase competition in the sector.
Google believed that its competitors, Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, among others; will face a backlash with this deal.
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According to the European Union, the deal is likely to further expand the advantage Google has over the data, and this will make it difficult for the competitors to match Google’s online advertising services.
However, Google’s Senior Vice President responsible for services and devices, Rick Osterloh; explained in a blog post that the deal would entail devices and has nothing to do with data. He also added that the Fitbit health and wellness related data will in no way be utilized by Google ads.
Google had also announced its decision to take over Fitbit back in November 2019; for $2.1 billion (approximately 15,720 crores).
It was then that consumer groups joined forces with privacy and social justice group, and have demanded the deal to be off the table; on the grounds of privacy and antitrust issues; they have demanded an investigation into the deal.
The European Commission, Executive Vice-President, Margrethe Vestager, also the European Union’s competition commissioner; in an interview said, “Our investigation aims to ensure that Google does not manipulate competition by monitoring data collected through wearable devices as a result of the transaction.”
This investigation is likely to add more clarity into the deal. The investigation is also being overlooked by ‘Australia’s competition watchdog’.
This will highlight the dominating and leading role played by the European Union authorities in its global attempts to control large technology firms and companies.
Despite the constant reassurance from Google, that the deal will in no way have anything to do with the data; the consumer and other groups continue to have their doubts. The scrutiny of the investigation is believed to provide some clarity into the matter.