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EU Opens In-depth Investigation Into Proposed Acquisition Of Fitbit By Google

The European Commission said that it has opened an in-depth investigation into the proposed acquisition of Wearables company Fitbit Inc. (FIT) by Google.

The Commission now has 90 working days, until 9 December 2020, to take a decision.

Fitbit said last year that it agreed to be acquired by Google LLC for $7.35 per share in cash, valuing the company about $2.1 billion.

The commission said Tuesday that it is concerned that the proposed transaction would further entrench Google's market position in the online advertising markets by increasing the already vast amount of data that Google could use for personalisation of the ads it serves and displays.

The transaction was notified to the Commission on 15 June 2020. Google submitted commitments to address the Commission's concerns on 13 July 2020. The commitment consisted in the creation of a data silo, which is a virtual storage of data, where certain data collected through wearable devices would have been kept separate from any other dataset within Google. The data in the silo would have been restricted from usage for Google's advertising purposes.

However, the Commission considered that the data silo commitment proposed by Google is insufficient to clearly dismiss the serious doubts identified at this stage as to the effects of the transaction.

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