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US: Google’s Fitbit buy faces instant antitrust scrutiny

 |  November 3, 2019

Google’s US$2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit means two of the largest technology companies now dominate the US market for fitness tracking devices and data, and the purchase is already coming under fire from US lawmakers, reported Bloomberg. 

Google and Fitbit expect the deal to face protracted regulatory review in light of the current political focus on competition and privacy issues in the tech industry, a person familiar with the transaction said.

And two of the company’s major critics in Congress urged regulators to conduct just such a thorough review.

“Why should Google be permitted to acquire even more companies while they’re under DOJ antitrust investigation?” Josh Hawley, a Republican US senator from Missouri, posted on Twitter referring to the Justice Department. Representative David Cicilline, who heads the House antitrust investigation into the big tech companies, also criticized the deal.

“Google is signaling that it will continue to flex and expand its power in spite of this immense scrutiny,” said Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island. “Google’s proposed acquisition of Fitbit would also give the company deep insights into Americans’ most sensitive information — such as their health and location data — threatening to further entrench its market power online.”

Full Content: Bloomberg

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