Daily Management Review

EU Likely To Allow Google’s Acquisition Of Fitbit With New Concessions: Reuters


EU Likely To Allow Google’s Acquisition Of Fitbit With New Concessions: Reuters
A report from the news agency Reuters has claimed that the antirust body of the European Union is set to give the green signal to Alphabet’s Google’s acquisition of fitness tracker maker Fitbit in a deal worth $2.1 billion. This became apparent after the United States based search engine giant made some concessions to take care of the concerns of the EU antitrust body recently, said the report quoting people familiar with the matter.
The sources reportedly said that in the latest concessions, Google has offered to limit the extent to which it would use Fitbit data which was a reinforcement of an earlier offer that the tech giant had made to the European Commission.
The company has also made a concession of making it easier for rival companies making wearable devices to get access to Google’s Android platform as Google offered them open access to the Android application programming interface (API), the report also said.
A final decision is scheduled to be taken by the Commission by December 23. The Commission has not published any detail of the concessions made by Google according to its policy. It also did not comment on the report.
Prior to making a final judgment on whether to accept the concessions offered by Google or demand more concessions or either allow or block the deal, feedback from rivals and customers will also be sought on the deal by the EU competition enforcer.
last month, Google offered the EU competition enforcer the concession of the company not using users’ data on the fitness tracker for advertising purposes in order to dissuade the concerns over competition, which was rejected by the EU antitrust agency and said that the concessions were insufficient.
The report quoted sources saying that rivals of Google and consumers were recently consulted by the Commission on issues of interoperability of subscriptions, what were the potential technical steps that Google could take to bring down competition in the segment against Fitbit to increase its sales, and what could be the reasons behind Google doing so.
The Reuters report also claimed sources saying that the Commission had asked rivals and consumers about issues related to digital healthcare, the type of information or data that is needed by Google in this segment as well as the sources through which the US based company could acquire it.
The deal has been criticized by healthcare providers, wearables rivals and privacy advocates.
According to data from the market research firm International Data Corp, as of the first quarter of 2020, only about 3 per cent share of the global wearables market was commanded by Fitbit which was way behind the market share of Apple – with 29.3 per cent share, as well as those of Xiaomi, Samsung and Huawei.