While Google was trying to make promises to the EU, to get them to approve of the acquisition of Fitbit, it looks like that may not have been enough.
As reports are coming out on Thursday that the EU is likely going to be investigating the acquisition. And we should expect an announcement next week.
According to Reuters, it will likely be a full-scale antitrust investigation. Regulators and consumer advocacy groups have been sharing fears of this planned acquisition, particularly related to the data that Google would be getting from Fitbit.
Consumer groups from Europe, Mexico, Canada, Brazil and the US, have said that this deal is a "test case" for regulators ability to prevent data monopolies. Though one could argue that Google is already one of those.
Google has been offering regulators promises, to close this deal
Google has promised the EU that it would not use Fitbit health data to target ads. However, it appears that the promise was not enough, as EU officials are wanting more concessions that would make sure Fitbit data is open to third-party developers. This is in addition to seeking assurances that Google would not be using Fitbit data to improve its search engine.
This investigation would likely take quite a few months to complete, around four months many experts are saying. Which means that it is likely going to be a full year before Google can officially close this deal. Seeing as Google announced in November that it was purchasing Fitbit for around $2.1 billion.
It was a surprising announcement, when Google announced the acquisition. After all, Google had recently spent $40 million buying some smartwatch tech from Fossil – though we're still not completely sure what exactly Google purchased there.
This comes a day after Big Tech testified in Congress over Antitrust issues
Yesterday, the CEOs of Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google all testified before Congress, over antitrust issues. And it was a pretty brutal hearing, to say the least.
Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai, faced the majority of the questions, which sounds about right. Considering how many businesses Google has, and how many business practices it has that seem to run into antitrust issues.
Now we have another one with the Fitbit acquisition. It's unclear if this acquisition is actually going to go through, the US have not yet approved it, and of course the EU hasn't approved it since they are looking to investigate it.