Australia: ACCC rejects Google behavioural undertaking for proposed acquisition of Fitbit
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ('ACCC') announced, on 22 December 2020, that it does not accept the long-term behavioural undertaking offered by Google LLC that sought to address competition concerns regarding its proposed acquisition of Fitbit Inc. In particular, the ACCC highlighted that Google had sought to address the ACCC's competition concerns by committing to behave in certain ways towards other wearable manufacturers, not use health data for advertising and, in some circumstances, allow competing businesses access to health and fitness data. However, the ACCC noted that while the proposed acquisition received conditional clearance in Europe, several other competition authorities, including the U.S. Department of Justice, are yet to make a decision. As such, the ACCC stated that it will work closely with overseas agencies as it continues its investigation into the proposed acquisition and has set a new decision date of 25 March 2021.
ACCC Chair, Rod Sims, stated, ''Wearable devices such as smart-watches are becoming more important in Australians' online lives, and the user data these devices collect is likely to become increasingly valuable. The competition impacts of Google acquiring Fitbit to expand into these important markets needs to be very carefully considered.''
You can read the press release here.