Google has closed its Fitbit deal, despite investigations and concerns over potential privacy and antitrust implications.
Google announced in November 2019 that it had entered an agreement to acquire Fitbit. Immediately, the company worked to assuage potential privacy concerns over the data Fitbit has access to. The acquisition was largely seen in the context of Google’s desire to use Fitbit to better compete with the Apple Watch.
Despite Google’s assurances, the Department of Justice and EU regulators investigated the potential acquisition, leading Google to make additional concessions to ensure the deal went forward. It appears the concessions Google made paid off, as the two companies have now closed their deal.
James Park, Fitbit’s CEO, president, and co-founder, relayed the news in a blog post:
I’m writing today to let you know that Fitbit is now officially part of Google. It’s an incredibly exciting moment for us as a company and for our Fitbit community of users around the globe.
Park also tried to reassure users their privacy and data would be respected:
The trust of our users will continue to be paramount, and we will maintain strong data privacy and security protections, giving you control of your data and staying transparent about what we collect and why. Google will continue to protect Fitbit users’ privacy and has made a series of binding commitments with global regulators, confirming that Fitbit users’ health and wellness data won’t be used for Google ads and this data will be kept separate from other Google ad data. Google also affirmed it will continue to allow Fitbit users to choose to connect to third party services. That means you’ll still be able to connect your favorite health and wellness apps to your Fitbit account. These and other commitments by Google reinforce why Google is an ideal partner for Fitbit who will continue to put our users first and help further our mission to make everyone in the world healthier.