Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate and Fitness Wristband.
Alphabet-owned Google announced on Thursday that it had finally completed its acquisition of Fitbit, which was first announced in November 2019.
The deal was subject to a month-long investigation into whether it could advance Google’s market position in the online advertising business if it uses Fitbit data to help make ads private. But, when Google said the deal was closed, Reuters said the US Department of Justice investigation into the merger was still ongoing. Enforcement agencies typically have strict time windows to block prior to the merger, but can still bring enforcement action at any point.
A spokesman for the DOJ was not immediately available to comment.
Fitbit can help increase Google’s presence in the wearable market. Although Google does not manufacture its own smartwatch or fitness tracker, it does provide software used by other companies to make smartwatches. But they have not provided more and more in-depth information for workouts, sleep and other metrics that are important for those who want to improve their health.
“The deal has always been about devices, not data, and we are clear from the outset that we will protect the privacy of Fitbit users,” Google Senior Vice President Rick Osterloh said in a statement.
“We worked with global regulators to protect consumers’ privacy expectations, including a series of binding commitments that confirm the health and wellness data of Fitbit users, which will not be used for Google ads And this data will diverge from the data on other Google ads, ”she added.
The company said that it would still allow Fitbit users to choose to connect to third-party services, so they could still connect various health and wellness applications to their Fitbit accounts.
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