ACCC questions Fitbit buy
The ACCC wants input on Google’s proposed acquisition of Fitbit.
The regulator is concerned that the proposed acquisition may provide Google with access to unique and substantial health related data, which may improve the targeting of its ads.
The consumer watchdog is working on a court-enforceable undertaking for the deal, but says that the “decision to begin consultation should not be interpreted as a signal that the ACCC will ultimately accept the undertaking and approve the transaction”.
“Feedback from interested parties will assist us to decide whether the behavioural remedy proposed is capable of addressing our competition concerns regarding this transaction,” ACCC chair Rod Sims says.
“The ACCC is seeking feedback from industry and consumers on the long term effectiveness and enforceability of Google’s behavioural undertaking to address the competition concerns raised by its proposed acquisition of Fitbit. The ACCC has not decided whether or not it will ultimately accept any undertaking.”
The proposed enforceable undertaking so far would require Google to:
- not use certain user data collected through Fitbit and Google wearables for Google’s advertising purposes for 10 years, with an option for the ACCC to extend this obligation by up to a further 10 years
- maintain access for third parties, such as health and fitness apps, to certain user data collected through Fitbit and Google wearable devices for 10 years
- maintain levels of interoperability between third party wearables and Android smartphones for 10 years
More information is available on the ACCC website at Google LLC proposed acquisition of Fitbit Inc.