It's official, Google is now the parent company of the manufacturer and seller of Fitbit fitness monitors. Last Thursday, the two companies announced they had reached an agreement. The search engine giant will notably pay $ 2.1 billion to Fitbit, which is currently used by more than 29 million people.
Considering Fitbit's talented team, Rick Osterloh, senior vice president at Google is particularly optimistic about the merger. According to Osterloh, the partnership with Fitbit will be a game-changer. “ It will make the next generation of devices better and more affordable, ” he said. For his part, James Park, president and co-founder of Fitbit, is convinced that the merger with Google is a boon for users.
“ By becoming part of the Google family, we can do even more to inspire and motivate you in your quest for better health, ” Park wrote in a letter to clients.
Google in the sights of US and Australian antitrust authorities
Last December, the European Union gave the green light for the acquisition of Fitbit by Google. However, some antitrust authorities do not approve of the merger. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is particularly reticent of Google's intention. The authority " fears that the company will prevent its competitors from connecting to phones equipped with the Android operating system ".
Although an agreement has been reached, Google still remains in the crosshairs of US and Australian competition regulators. These authorities have notably expressed their intention to closely monitor transactions.
" Based on the results of our investigation, we will consider taking legal action on this matter, " said ACCC President Rod Sims.
What about confidentiality?
Google says it has put in place " an approach that protects consumers' privacy expectations ." The Mountain View firm promises to protect the personal data of people who will use its services.
“ We are committed to protecting your health information and giving you control over your data, ” read a blog post published on January 14, 2020 by the US tech giant.
The Alphabet company also wanted to reassure Fitbit users that " data relating to their health and well-being will not be used for Google ads ."