Google Under DoJ’s Radar: To Review Acquisition Of Fitbit


Google has once again come under the radar, this time for the acquisition of Fitbit. The US Department of Justice is reportedly reviewing Google's acquisition, probing concerns about the massive amounts of user data Fitbit would give Google, reports the New York Post. Both the Justice Department and FTC had concerns over the merger.

Google Fitbit Acquisition Under Scrutiny

Google Fitbit Acquisition

When Google planned the Fitbit acquisition, several consumer rights and privacy groups urged the government to block it. Google's idea was to compete with Apple in the consumer wearable market. Here, Apple emphasizes privacy, security, and using the data for improving the technology. But, Google's primary business is data mining, targeting advertising, and services that keep track of the user's digital life, the report says.

The concern here is the Google would have access to an even wider database with the acquisition of a popular fitness tracking device. It would mean a large amount of healthcare data. With these rising concerns, Justice Department antitrust chief Makan Delrahim has hinted that privacy concerns could play a role in any investigation.

DoJ To Scrutinize Google Fitbit Acquisition

The Justice Department had previously opened an antitrust investigation on Google and demanded documents to be presented. The department had earlier announced its plans to include a wide-ranging probe of tech giants in the country, with an emphasis on search, social media, and a few retail services. The investigation of Amazon and Facebook came under FTC back then.

Delrahim had previously noted that when a large company runs without competition, the quality of the service drops, like decreasing privacy protection without losing users. Google, specifically, has been cleared to buy many other companies since the turn of the century with some restrictions.

With the renewed opening of the Google Fitbit acquisition privacy concern, the Justice Department could determine how large tech companies use their dominant position.

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