Google finishes $2.1bn merger with Fitbit

Photo: AP James Park

Google said it had completed its $2.1 billion deal to acquire the wearable device maker Fitbit, Reuters reported. The deal had sparkled some concerns over Google market positioning and the access of private health data of users intended for focused adverts.

Earlier in December, 2020 the European Commission approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Fitbit by Google. The approval was conditional on full compliance with commitments package offered by Google.

Fitbit has a limited market share in Europe in the fast-growing smartwatch segment where many larger competitors are present, such as Apple, Garmin and Samsung. The transaction was seen to have very limited horizontal overlaps between the activities of Google and Fitbit. “This deal has always been about devices, not data, and we’ve been clear since the beginning that we will protect Fitbit users’ privacy,” Google said in a blog post on Thursday.

“Together, we can make health and wellness more accessible to more people. We’re confident the combination of Fitbit’s leading technology, product expertise and health and wellness innovation with the best of Google’s AI, software and hardware will drive more competition in wearables and make the next generation of devices better and more affordable”, said Fitbit CEO James Park.

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