Google’s $2.1 billion Fitbit deal could harm competition, says Australian regulator

The ACCC is the first regulator to voice concerns about the deal in a preliminary decision. The Alphabet Inc-owned tech giant is already at loggerheads with the Australian government over planned new rules about how internet companies use personal information.

Google’s $2.1 billion Fitbit deal could harm competition, says Australian regulator
Google’s $2.1 billion Fitbit deal could harm competition, says Australian regulator

Google’s $2.1 billion Fitbit deal could harm competition, says Australian regulator

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has warned Google for its $2.1 billion acquisition plan of fitness tracker maker Fitbit (FIT.N) by saying that it may give too much of people’s data, potentially hurting competition in health and online advertising markets.

The ACCC is the first regulator to voice concerns about the deal in a preliminary decision. The Alphabet Inc-owned tech giant is already at loggerheads with the Australian government over planned new rules about how internet companies use personal information.

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said, “Buying Fitbit will allow Google to build an even more comprehensive set of user data, further cementing its position and raising barriers to entry to potential rivals. User data available to Google has made it so valuable to advertisers that it faces only limited competition.”

The ACCC will announce its final decision on August 13. In previous takeovers, it has ordered certain conditions such as asset sales. However, it does not have the power to block a deal outside Australia. With this deal announced in November, Google wants to help it compete with Apple and Samsung in the market for fitness trackers and smartwatches.