Google’s acquisition of Fitbit has come under scrutiny by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) due to concerns around data privacy.
Both the DOJ and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) raised concerns about the $2.1 billion acquisition, claiming that it would allow Google to have an “even bigger window into people’s privata date,” the New York Post said.
Under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, all large mergers are required to file proposals with both the DOJ and the FTC, however, only one agency will review it.
Since the DOJ is already conducting an investigation into Google, the department will take the lead.
“The DOJ’s handling of Fitbit will give an early read on the Google investigation,” a source said.
Multiple privacy and consumer rights groups including Public Citizen, the Center for Digital Democracy and Consumer Action have urged the FTC to block the merger. In a letter to the FTC they wrote: “Google will further consolidate its monopoly power over Internet-based services.
“Google already holds a dominant position in the digital marketplace, health data is critical to the future of that marketplace, and the data protection concerns stemming from the acquisition will have far-reaching consequences including a dramatic erosion of consumer privacy.”
After the acquisition was announced, Google said that Fitbit users’ health and wellness data will not be utilised for ads.
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