Google-Fitbit Deal Could Harm Competition: Australian Regulator

Australia’s antitrust regulator warned Google’s deliberate $2.1 billion (roughly Rs. 15,989 crores) acquisition of health tracker maker Fitbit could give it an excessive amount of of individuals’s information, doubtlessly hurting competitors in well being and internet marketing markets.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is the primary regulator to voice issues in regards to the deal in a preliminary choice on Thursday. The Alphabet-owned tech large is already at loggerheads with the Australian authorities over deliberate new guidelines about how Internet firms use private data.

“Buying Fitbit will permit Google to build an even more comprehensive set of user data, further cementing its position and raising barriers to entry to potential rivals,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said on Thursday. “User data available to Google has made it so valuable to advertisers that it faces only limited competition.”

The ACCC, which doesn’t usually have the facility to dam a deal exterior Australia, will announce its ultimate choice on August 13. In earlier takeovers, it has ordered sure circumstances corresponding to asset gross sales.

Google desires the deal, announced in November, to assist it compete with Apple and Samsung out there for fitness trackers and smart watches.

But client teams have raised privateness issues. The US Justice Department is evaluating the deal, whereas the European Commission is because of give a ruling in July.

Following an ACCC report final yr, the Australian authorities is engaged on new guidelines to drive massive Internet firms to reveal their information utilization, and pay for the native media content material. Google and Facebook oppose many of the proposed adjustments.

Google mentioned it had promised to not use Fitbit information for commercials, and to present customers alternative and management over their information.

“We will be transparent about the data we collect and why – and we do not sell personal information to anyone,” Google mentioned in an e-mail.

Fitbit was not instantly accessible for remark.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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