Google appears to have nearly reached an agreement with the EU over data use in its acquisition over Fitbit. As reported by Reuters, Google offered to sweeten the concessions to the EU in order to get the agreement over the line.
Google first ran into problems over the acquisition of Fitbit back in the summer of 2020. What followed was a lengthy investigation by the EU focusing on concerns of Google using the data acquired from Fitbit users.
Google has always maintained that the acquisition was always about devices rather than data. Hence why the company was happy to offer some concessions to the EU. As a result, positive signs about the deal began to emerge at the end of September.
Now it has emerged why those positive muting began, which is because Google has offered more concessions to the EU. It now looks as if the deal will go through before the end of the year.
Google offers EU more concessions to get Fitbit deal over the line
The EU's concerns boiled down to how Google may use the data gained from Fitbit's users. The fear was Google would feed this data into its targeted ads side of the business hence making the acquisition even more profitable for the company.
However, Google has agreed to restrict the use of Fitbit data for Google ads which alleviated some of these fears. Google has also agreed that it will facilitate rival makers of wearables seeking to connect to the Android platform. This curbs some of the antitrust concerns about the deal.
In that same vain Google has also said it will allow third parties’ continued access to Fitbit users’ data with their consent.
This appears to have been a revised offer from Google following feedback it received from rivals and consumers. Reaching an agreement in this way will be much more beneficial to Google. This is because it should prevent the EU from producing a charge sheet setting out its specific concerns.
As a result, the deal will appear much more amicable and straightforward than it probably was behind closed doors.
Google says that a deal between Fitbit and itself will "increase competition in the sector, benefiting consumers and making the next generation of devices better and more affordable".
This deal will certainly be a way for Fitbit to try and regain market leadership in the wearable sector. Using Google's hardware efforts will no doubt make them a more competitive offering. Hopefully, the cost of this to the consumer in terms of data use will have been mitigated in this agreement between Google and the EU.