August 4, 2021

Fitbit is now part of Google – News

Fitbit, maker of sports and health wearables, has been acquired by Google. Both companies are moving forward as a single entity more than a year after the initial agreements, although the antitrust approvals are not all in yet.

Fitbit is officially part of Google. The company reports this on its blog, and it is also sent in an email to the users of the devices. In the message, signed by CEO and co-founder James Park, Fitbit emphasizes that the accounts and apps will continue to run, and that you will also be able to use the devices via third parties after the acquisition. Anyone who links their wearable to other apps – we are thinking of the Strava loop app, for example – can therefore continue to do so.

Antitrust

Google announced its plans to acquire the wearable maker in 2019, but had to wait for approval from several antitrust authorities. In particular, the possibility that the deal would combine the personal data Fitbit collects about your exercise and sleep activities with the huge bin of data that Google already has about most people was a cause for concern.

“Google will continue to protect the privacy of Fitbit users and has made some binding commitments with regulators to that end,” Park wrote in the statement. “That means Fitbit users’ health and fitness data will not be used for Google ads, and that data will also be kept separate from other Google ad data.”

“This deal has always been about devices, not data,” Rick Osterloh, senior vice president of Devices & Services, also wrote in a blog at Google itself. What Google really plans to do with those devices, and what a future lineup will look like, isn’t entirely clear at this point.

Enough waited

The announcement comes about a month after the European Commission gave the green light for the takeover. She attached a number of conditions to this, such as storing user data in separate silos, which is also reflected in the promises of Park and Osterloh.

However, it should be noted that the deal has not yet been approved worldwide. The Australian regulator, among others, has not yet finished its investigation, and the American Justice, nevertheless an important player for an American company, has not yet expressed its approval. “We have been involved in the Department of Justice’s extensive review for the past fourteen months,” Google told the New York Times, “and the agreed waiting period has passed without objection.” In other words, Google thinks it has waited long enough.

Fitbit is officially part of Google. The company reports this on its blog, and it is also sent in an email to the users of the devices. In the message, signed by CEO and co-founder James Park, Fitbit emphasizes that the accounts and apps will continue to run, and that you will also be able to use the devices via third parties after the acquisition. Anyone who links their wearable to other apps – we are thinking of the Strava loop app, for example – can therefore continue to do so. Google announced its plans to acquire the wearable maker in 2019, but had to wait for approval from several antitrust authorities. In particular, the possibility that the deal would combine the personal data that Fitbit collects about your exercise and sleep activities with the massive bin of data that Google already has about most people was a cause for concern. some binding obligations have been agreed with regulators,” Park writes in the communication. “That means Fitbit users’ health and fitness data will not be used for Google ads, and that data will also be kept separate from other Google ad data.” “This deal has always been about devices, not data,” Rick writes. Osterloh, senior vice president of Devices & Services, also wrote in a blog at Google itself. What Google really plans to do with those devices, and what a future line-up will look like, is not entirely clear at the moment. The announcement comes about a month after the European Commission gave the green light for the acquisition. She attached some conditions to this, such as storing user data in separate silos, which is also reflected in the promises of Park and Osterloh. It should be noted, however, that the deal has not yet been approved worldwide. The Australian regulator, among others, has not yet finished its investigation, and the American Justice, nevertheless an important player for an American company, has not yet expressed its approval. “We have been involved in the Department of Justice’s extensive review for the past fourteen months,” Google told the New York Times, “and the agreed waiting period has passed without objection.” In other words, Google thinks it has waited long enough.

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