Google SVP for Devices and Services Rick Osterloh posted a post on the company̵
The European Commission (the EU legislature) tends to react poorly to the almost constant mergers and acquisitions of large technology companies, particularly in the United States. So much so that the EU will launch an investigation into whether a potential sale of Fitbit to Google could result in Google using all of this personal health information to boost its advertising business. The EU competition investigation is expected to last four months.
Osterloh’s contribution appears to be aimed at dissuading these investigators, claiming that there is healthy competition among Fitbit’s colleagues, including Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, Garmin, and the £ 800 gorilla of the portable market, the Apple Watch. (Google also mentioned Fossil, but they use Google’s Android-based Wear, so … okay?) Osterloh says the deal is about devices, not data, and assures the Commission that Google “Fitbit users will Will give choice for review “. move or delete their data. “
He said nothing about advertising, the main focus of the competitive investigation. Google doesn’t have the best track record in Europe in this area. Even some regulators in the United States are not enthusiastic about the idea.
The EC investigation is a big deal. Google’s wearable division is in trouble because Wear’s consumers are getting tired. This could limit access to the European market for a revitalized range of Fitbit technology devices. A complete block of the Fitbit acquisition does not seem to be the most likely outcome – the EU is seeking concessions and agreements rather than total bans. But in such a fluid and critical market, every week of delay is a week wasted.