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Home News Google’s Fitbit acquisition could be scrutinized by the Justice Department

Google’s Fitbit acquisition could be scrutinized by the Justice Department

A few watchdog groups including Public Citizen and the Center for Digital Democracy want Google’s acquisition of Fitbit to be blocked by the Justice Department.

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What you need to know

  • The U.S. Justice Department will reportedly review Google’s acquisition of wearable maker Fitbit for possible antitrust issues.
  • Google had formally announced its $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit on November 1.
  • Several watchdog groups have requested antitrust enforcers to block the deal saying it would give Google access to “even more data about American consumers.”

According to a report from the New York Post, the Justice Department will be reviewing Google’s plans of buying wearable maker Fitbit for possible antitrust issues. Google had announced last month that it had acquired Fitbit for $2.1 billion.

Some watchdog groups such as Public Citizen and the Center for Digital Democracy have raised concerns over the deal, saying it will lead to Google gaining access to even more private data about American consumers, including sensitive health information.

In a letter sent to the FTC last month, the groups wrote:

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.

While the Federal Trade Commission was in charge of reviewing most Google deals in the past, the DOJ is reviewing the Fitbit deal as it is already probing the search giant for antitrust practices. The Justice Department had also reviewed Google’s acquisition of cloud analytics startup Looker this fall, which was cleared last month. A DC source told the New York Post that “the DOJ’s handling of Fitbit will give an early read on the Google investigation.”

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