Google Proposes More Concessions For Fitbit Deal To Win EU Approval: Reuters

Concession in its $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit will be given by Alphabet’s Google with the aim of appeasing the antitrust regulators of the European Union and ally its concerns, claimed a report published by Reuters citing information from sources familiar with the .

According to sources, with these concessions, the deal is well set to get a green signal from the EU antitrust regulators.

A number of concessions for the deal had already been announced last month by the most popular internet search engine of the world which included a pledge to restrict the use of user data of Fitbit for Google ads as well as facilitating rival makers of wearables seeking to connect to the Android platform and continued access to Fitbit users’ data with their consent for third parties.

But after the European Commission received feedback from rivals and consumers, Google decided to revise the concessions package, claimed the report. No details of the changes were available. The latest measure from Google would also help it to stave off a possible EU charge sheet which would have set out specific concerns.

Further feedback from the market on the deal has so far not been sought till date by the EU competition enforcer which indicated that the changes proposed by Google have likely gone down well with the Commission.

On Friday, the deadline for its decision of the deal was extended by the EU competition enforcer from December 23 to January 8 in agreement with Google.

No comments on the issue from Google were available.

Its previous statement where it said that the deal was about devices and not data, was reiterated by Google.

“The wearables space is crowded, and we believe the combination of Google and Fitbit’s hardware efforts will increase competition in the sector, benefiting consumers and making the next generation of devices better and more affordable,” Google said.

Rivals and customers however have so far not been impressed by the concessions proposed by Google so far.

Tough concessions from Google were demanded in a letter written by a group of 19 bodies which includes consumer organisations and privacy advocates in the EU, the United States and Brazil. This group is maongt6s the largest critics of the deal.

As of the first quarter of 2020, only about 3 per cent of the global wearables market belonged to Fitbit, which once was the leader in the wearable devices segment. The company is well behind the market leaders in the sector – Apple’s with a 29.3 per cent market share, as well as Xiaomi, Samsung and Huawei, according to data from the market research firm International Data Corp showed

(Adapted from Reuters.com)

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