More than a year after the announcement of the project, Google will finally be able to buy the wearable manufacturer Fitbit. Subject to a scrupulous examination by the European Commission, this acquisition was approved on December 17th.
$ 2.1 billion. This is the sum (around 1.7 billion euros) that Google will officially be able to spend on the takeover of the American Fitbit, specializing in connected watches and bracelets. Authorized on December 17 by the European Commission, this acquisition was the subject of an in-depth antitrust investigation by the European Union, which had still not given its agreement, preferring to take the time to put Google safeguards. , in particular, on the issue of health data collected by Fitbit devices.
This acquisition is thus made under certain conditions imposed by the EU and listed in a document shared at the end of last week on the Commission website.
Google will not use Fitbit’s health data to feed its advertising network
Among the constraints imposed on Google, that of separately storing the health data of users of Fitbit products and data specific to Google’s services. Google has also made a commitment not to use data from these devices to feed its Google Ads advertising network. Finally, users will be able to choose whether they prefer to store their health information using a Google account or their Fitbit account.
A separation of powers essential for the EU, which also imposes an additional constraint on the firm, and of size: the Californian giant will not be able to use the data of European users of Fitbit for a period of 10 years. A period that the European Commission reserves the right to extend by another 10 years if it deems it necessary.
The EU takes care to preserve competition
Finally, Google will need to maintain access to Fitbit’s data through a web API open to third-party developers and manufacturers of Android devices. This access will not be billed, the firm has committed. It will help to preserve free competition and limit the impact that Google’s takeover of Fitbit could have on other market players. Anyway, and as indicated Reuters, it will be up to the users to give their consent or not for access to this data.
Despite these constraints, Google is satisfied with the agreement reached. “We believe this deal will spur innovation in wearable devices and allow us to build products that help people lead healthier lives.A spokesperson for the group said in a statement.