Australia’s antitrust regulator has warned Google’s planned $2.1 billion acquisition of fitness tracker maker Fitbit may give it too much of people’s data, potentially hurting competition in health and online advertising markets.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is the first regulator to voice concerns about the deal in a preliminary decision on Thursday.
“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,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said on Thursday. “User data available to Google has made it so valuable to advertisers that it faces only limited competition.”
The ACCC, which does not generally have the power to block a deal outside Australia, will announce its final decision on August 13.
Google wants the deal, announced in November, to help it compete with Apple… But consumer groups have raised privacy concerns. The U.S. Justice Department is evaluating the deal, while the European Commission is due to give a ruling in July.
MacDailyNews Take: Last month, European consumer group BEUC warned that Alphabet-owned Google’s planned $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit may harm consumers and hinder innovation.
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.