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Google completes Fitbit takeover and moves to allay privacy concerns

Paul Lipscombe
January 15, 2021

The acquisition has faced challenges from regulators over privacy fears

Google has finally completed the acquisition of Fitbit in a deal worth £1.5 billion.

The acquisition which was first reported to be taking place back in November 2019, was confirmed by Google in a blog post yesterday (January 14).

In the post, Google devices and services senior vice president Rick Osterloh quashed any privacy fears.

“This deal has always been about devices, not data, and we’ve been clear since the beginning that we will protect Fitbit users’ privacy,” the post said.

Osterloh adds that Google has worked with global regulators on an approach that safeguards consumers’ privacy expectations.

However the deal has regularly faced questions from regulators, with US and Australian regulators still reviewing the transaction.

Last year following a four-month European Commission investigation, Google agreed not to use health and location data from Fitbit devices for advertising.

According to IDC, Fitbit has 2.6 per cent of the global wearables market, as of Q3 2020. The health tracking company shipped 3.3 million units during the quarter.

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