The EU is demanding big concessions from Google on the Fitbit deal

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Valentina Palladino

The EU has known as for Google to make giant concessions in reference to the acquisition of the $ 2.1 billion health monitoring firm Fitbit if the deal is imminent, in line with folks with direct data of the discussions.

Because the announcement final November, the acquisition has met with stiff opposition from shopper teams and regulators who’ve raised considerations concerning the influence of Google’s entry to Fitbit’s well being information on competitors.

EU regulators now need the corporate to vow to not use this info to “additional enhance its search profit” and to present third events equal entry to it, these folks stated.

The transfer comes days after EU regulators suffered a significant blow in Luxembourg and misplaced an necessary case that may have compelled Apple to repay taxes of 14.three billion euros to Eire.

Brussels insiders stated Google’s refusal to adjust to the brand new necessities would seemingly lead to a prolonged investigation, including that such a state of affairs may in the end drawback the EU.

“It is like a poker recreation,” stated one one who was carefully following the case. “In a prolonged investigation, the Fee dangers making fewer or no commitments and clarifying the deal.”

They added that the discussions concerning the takeover are “intense” and that there isn’t a assure that an settlement will probably be reached between Brussels and Google.

Google had beforehand promised to not use Fitbit’s well being information to enhance its personal promoting. Nevertheless, in line with Brussels insiders, the dedication was not sufficient to dispel the EU’s considerations, nor had been the considerations of the U.S. regulators, who’re additionally reviewing the deal.

Earlier this month, Brussels despatched questionnaires to opponents to evaluate whether or not the transaction has the potential to hurt competitors and to drawback different health monitoring apps on the Google Play Retailer.

Quite a lot of shopper teams, together with the European umbrella group BEUC and the Shopper Federation of America, have strongly warned of the deal.

Regardless, the Australian Competitors and Shopper Fee additionally expressed considerations that the transaction may assist strengthen Google’s place.

Google declined to touch upon the main points of its current discussions with the European Fee, however referred to an earlier assertion: “Throughout this course of, we made it clear that we’re dedicated to not offering Fitbit well being and wellness info to Google -Use adverts and that we’re accountable for folks with alternative and management over their information.

“Much like our different merchandise with wearables, we will probably be clear about what information we gather and why. And we do not promote private info to 3rd events. “

The European Fee, which has till August eight to resolve on the deal, declined to remark.

© 2020 The Financial Times Ltd.. All rights reserved. No disclosure, duplication or modification.

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