Call To Ban Google Fitbit Deal
The proposed $3 Billion dollar acquisition of Fitbit by Google has been slammed with several groups urging the US Federal Trade Commission to block the deal.
The US antitrust enforcer has been told that Google is a threat and their move to collect medical and personal health information is a major breach of privacy and the sale of Fitbit will further strengthen Google’s monopoly and further consolidate the search giant’s control over consumer data, a coalition of privacy and consumer advocates said.
The $2.1 billion takeover would allow Google to entrench its monopoly power in the digital marketplace, the groups said Wednesday in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission.
The letter was written by the Open Markets Institute, the Centre for Digital Democracy, Consumer Federation of America, and the Electronic Privacy Information Centre, among others.
“Through its vast portfolio of internet services, Google knows more about us than any other company, and it should not be allowed to add yet another way to track our every move,” they said.
Bloomberg claims that Alphabet Inc.’s Google is a leader in digital data, and Fitbit would give it a new stream of valuable health and activity data from Fitbit’s more than 28 million users.
The purchase will mean Apple and Google control more than half of the global smartwatch market.
Apple had 46% of this growing sector at the end of the second quarter, while Fitbit had 10%, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.
A Google spokesman didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment nor did the FTC.
The deal is likely to face a stringent antitrust review.
Google and other big internet companies are already under scrutiny at both the FTC and the Justice Department.
A group of state attorneys general is also investigating whether Google’s business practices harm competition. Both Republicans and Democrats also have been strongly critical of practices by big technology and internet companies.