In an effort to prevent the EU from challenging its Fitbit deal, Google has committed to not using Fitbit data in its advertising.
Google announced in November that it had entered a definitive agreement to purchase Fitbit to the tune of $2.1 billion. Almost immediately, the deal was scrutinized by lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic. The DOJ announced in December it was opening an investigation into the deal, citing privacy concerns over the sensitive health information Fitbit has access to. Similarly, the EU launched its own investigation into the deal over similar concerns.
In an effort to stave off any attempt to block the deal, Google has now committed to not using any Fitbit data to target its ads. In an emailed statement to Reuters, Google said the following:
“This deal is about devices, not data. 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,” Google said in an emailed statement.
Google’s statement emphasizes why it pursued the Fitbit deal to begin with, even outbidding Facebook for the wearable maker. Apple is currently the dominant wearables company, with Samsung making a respectable showing as well. Buying Fitbit gives Google a better chance of competing against the market leaders.