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Australia Rejects Google’s Concessions For Fitbit Acquisition

 |  December 21, 2020

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that it will not accept a long-term behavioral undertaking offered by Google that sought to address competition concerns about its proposed acquisition of wearables supplier and manufacturer Fitbit.

The ACCC will therefore continue its investigation into Google’s proposed acquisition of Fitbit and has set a new decision date of March 25, 2021.

“The ACCC continues to have concerns that Google’s acquisition of Fitbit may result in Fitbit’s rivals, other than Apple, being squeezed out of the wearables market, as they are reliant on Google’s Android system and other Google services to make their devices work effectively,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said. 

The proposed acquisition also further consolidates Google’s leading position in relation to the collection of user data, which supports its significant market power in online advertising and is likely to have applications in health markets.

“We are also continuing to investigate the acquisition’s potential impact on wearable operating systems. The acquisition may result in Google becoming the default provider of wearable operating systems for non-Apple devices and give it the ability to be a gatekeeper for wearables data, similar to the position it holds for smartphones which licence the Android operating system,” Mr Sims said.