After issuing a warning in February about potential privateness dangers of Google getting access to Fitbits information, the European Union (EU) regulators have now despatched detailed questionnaires to their rivals, asking them to evaluate how the acquisition can have an effect on the digital healthcare house. The anti-competition watchdog has set a deadline of July 20 for its subsequent choice concerning the $2,1 billion Google-Fitbit deal
“The level of detail in the recent questionnaires sent to the companies’ rivals suggests an extended investigation could be in the works,” reviews The Financial Times. The EU regulators have requested rivals whether or not the Google-Fitbit deal will drawback health monitoring apps hosted in Google’s Play Store, and “how Google might use the data to profile users for its search and advertising business”.
The transfer comes within the wake of the tech large’s plan to scoop up the well being and exercise information of tens of millions of Fitbit customers. Regulators are within the course of of contemplating whether or not to permit the tech large to gobble up all this information. In an earlier assertion, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) wrote: “There are concerns that the possible further combination and accumulation of sensitive personal data regarding people in Europe by a major tech company could entail a high level of risk to the fundamental rights to privacy and to the protection of personal data”.
In the EU, how privateness is dealt with may have a huge effect on whether or not or not the deal goes by. The EDPB additionally left a reminder that Google and Fitbit are obligated to conduct a clear evaluation of “the data protection requirements and privacy implications” concerning this merger. The US Justice Department and Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission have additionally raised their issues over the deal.
“Buying Fitbit will allow Google to build an even more comprehensive set of user data, further cementing its position and raising barriers to entry to potential rivals,” in accordance with ACCC Chairman Rod Sims. Google acquired Fitbit for $2.1 billion late final 12 months, a deal that features the person information of Fitbit prospects together with exercise, sleep, location, and different well being information. Google, nonetheless, has burdened that “Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads.”