EU: Advocacy groups call for EU regulators to scrutinise concerns over Google's takeover of Fitbit
The European Consumer Organisation ('BEUC') published, on 1 July 2020, a statement signed by 20 advocacy groups ('the Statement') on Google LLC's proposed takeover of Fitbit Inc., noting that consumers and citizens have expressed concern about the merger and that antitrust and data privacy regulators should give attention to the same. In particular, the Statement highlights that this merger may test regulators in analysing the effects of a major tech company acquiring valuable data on competition. More specifically, the Statement expresses concern that Google could use its access to valuable health and location data to strengthen its already dominant position in markets such as online advertising and digital health, and that this may have an anti-competitive effect and degrade consumer privacy options. In addition, the Statement points out that, in light of wearable technologies being used for, among other things, tracking COVID-19 ('Coronavirus') symptoms, Google's expansion in the market is significant and that using such data should be scrutinised because of potential anti-competitive effects and consumer issues. Therefore, the Statement recommends that regulators analyse potential implications of this merger for digital and health markets, as well as for consumers.
You can read the Statement here.