Google’s merger with Fitbit under antitrust scrutiny
The proposed merger of Google and Fitbit, filed to request an approval with the European Commission (EC) this week, is under antitrust scrutiny worldwide. The proposed merger was announced late last year and anticipates Google acquiring wearables company Fitbit for USD 2.1 billion. While the EC has until 20 July 2020 to decide on the approval, the merger already raised privacy and antitrust concerns.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission issued a Statement of Issues related to this merger, citing, among others, that the size of acquisition and the scale of user health data acquired through Fitbit combined with the current activities of Google would give Google considerable competitive advantage and would substantially lessen competition in the health data sector and ad tech sector. Civil society, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Privacy International has voiced concerns about Google’s digital dominance as well.