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Google promises to not use Fitbit data for ads as deal deadline nears


  • Google has pledged to not use Fitbit user data for ad-targeting purposes, Google has confirmed to Business Insider.
  • Google had already said as much when its plans to acquire Fitbit were announced, but this more formal proposal to regulators makes it more likely the merger will be approved.
  • European regulators must decide by July 20 whether the deal is allowed to pass.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Google has pledged to not use Fitbit user data for ad-targeting purposes, the company has told Business Insider, as European regulators decide whether to pass the deal.

“This deal is about devices, not data. 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,” a Google spokesperson told Business Insider.

“We appreciate the opportunity to work with the European Commission on an approach that safeguards consumers’ expectations that Fitbit device data won’t be used for advertising.”

The news was first reported by Reuters.

Google had already tried to allay fears that it would use the data for ads, but this formal pledge to regulators means the Fitbit merger has a higher chance of being approved. European regulators have set a July 20 deadline to decide if the deal will pass. If they don’t, it will trigger a four-month deeper investigation into the merger.

The deal has come under intense scrutiny in the US, Europe, and Australia. Business Insider previously reported that Google would likely have to offer concessions to appease antitrust regulators. In the US, the deal is being looked at by the Department of Justice.

Earlier this month, a team of consumer advocacy groups sent a letter to antitrust regulators asking them to closely scrutinize the deal.

But the Fitbit deal is just one regulatory headache that Google is facing right now. The company is the subject of multiple antitrust investigations, including a recent one launched by its home state of California.

Are you a Google or Fitbit insider with insight to share? You can contact this reporter securely using encrypted messaging app Signal (+1 628-228-1836) or encrypted email ([email protected]).

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