Google’s proposed $2.1 billion Fitbit acquisition comes under Justice Department's review

Google is also being probed by the US Department of Health and Human Services about the usage of user health data

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Dec 11, 2019 4:21 PM
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In a new development, the US Department Of Justice (DOJ) has reportedly announced that it will review Google’s proposed $2.1 billion acquisition of fitness tracking company Fitbit. The move will put the search giant in the sight of government watchdogs yet again, as it has already faced antitrust and data privacy investigations from federal and state regulators in the past.

Google, in particular, has come under fire for its dominance in the online advertising business and has been accused of demoting search results from competitors. The New York Post cites sources privy to the matter, saying that the DOJ is concerned it would give Google even more market power to collect user data, which includes sensitive health information.

It must be noted that Google is also under investigation from the Department of Health and Human Services over the protection of health data, especially after reports of the online giant’s secret initiative to build a search engine for patient information inside hospitals. Google on its part has clarified that the company has no plans to use Fitbit health and wellness data for advertising. 

Fitbit held 12.2 per cent of the share in the wearables market in 2018. It was followed by Samsung with 11.8 per cent and Garmin with 7.1 per cent, as per the Strategy Analytics report.

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