BRUSSELS – EU regulators are checking whether or not Google’s buy of Fitbit would possibly permit it to drive rival makers of wearable units, app builders and different on-line service suppliers out of the market, and enhance its dominance in internet marketing and search.
Healthcare suppliers are additionally being requested whether or not they would see Google as a rival whether it is allowed to purchase the health tracker firm in a $2.1 billion deal criticised by privateness and shopper teams, in accordance with EU paperwork seen by Reuters.
The EU queries underscore the significance of Fitbit’s (FIT.N) trove of well being knowledge generated from its units, that are used to observe customers’ each day steps, energy burned and distance travelled, and the way this might additional prolong Alphabet Inc-owned (GOOGL.O) Google’s market energy right into a fast-growing space.
A 47-page questionnaire to potential rivals asks if the deal will reinforce Google’s dominance on the whole search and internet marketing and the way the smartwatches and health trackers market will develop if the Fitbit deal does, or doesn’t, go forward.
“In your view, would the aggregation of Fitbit’s knowledge to Google’s database strengthen Google’s place within the provide of on-line search promoting companies?” regulators ask.
They need to know if customers may have an alternative choice ought to the costs of Fitbit’s units go up, and whether or not Google will present its working system for smartwatches at much less beneficial phrases, and even cease offering them, to Fitbit’s rivals.
App builders for cell fee companies, digital service distribution, navigation, translation, digital assistant and search are all being requested if the deal will end in decrease costs and extra selection, or the other.
One other 11-page questionnaire asks healthcare suppliers whether or not their clients would migrate to a brand new Google competing service within the occasion Google has entry to Fitbit’s units or knowledge.
The European Fee is scheduled to resolve on the deal by July 20.
Australia’s antitrust regulator has warned in opposition to the deal, whereas U.S. and EU advocacy teams have additionally voiced criticism.
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