EU consumer group warns against Google’s Fitbit acquisition

Alphabet-owned Google’s planned $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit may harm consumers and hinder innovation, European consumer group BEUC said on Wednesday. Alphabet announced the deal last November, a move it claims will allow it to take on Apple in smartwatches.

MacDailyNews Take: Heh.

Google's Fitbit acquisition. Image: Apple Watch Series 5
Apple Watch Series 5

Reuters:

Critics however said the deal would give the U.S. tech giant access to a trove of health data gathered from Fitbit’s fitness trackers and other devices used to monitor users’ daily steps, calories burned and distance travelled.

BEUC, which counts 45 national consumer organisations from 32 European countries as its members, said the Google bid marks yet another strategic deal in digital markets by a handful of tech giants amassing unprecedented market power.

“If Google acquires consumers’ data generated by the use of Fitbit wearables, including now COVID-19 related data, it would be able to use that data for its own benefit and could undermine the ability of other companies to bring new products to consumers,” BEUC said in a report.

Google, who has been fined more than 8 billion euros by EU antitrust regulators for abusing its market power in online searches and its Android smartphone operating system, said it would be transparent about the data it collects from wearables and why.

MacDailyNews Take: Google then went on to say that pink elephants will fly overhead pooping out candy and rainbows for all to enjoy.

As we wrote about Google’s proposed acquisition of Fitbit last November:

Yet another reason not to buy a Fitbit, unless you want Google to have your steps, exercise data, heart rates, sleep patterns, weight, Fitbit friends, etc. for free.

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