The European Commission is launching an in-depth investigation into Google’s intended acquisition of Fitbit, a pedometer manufacturer.
The competition watchdog is concerned that the transaction would strengthen the already dominant position of the American tech giant in the online advertising market due to the enormous amount of personal data that Fitbit can provide.
Google announced late last year that it would acquire Fitbit for $ 2.1 billion. That American company makes fitness trackers and smartwatches that not only track times of running laps but also, for example, the heart rate.
Google can use that information for the personalized advertisements that it presents to people after a search.
Fitbit data would make it more difficult for competitors to match the precision of Google’s advertising services, exploratory research has shown. Brussels fears that the transaction would increase advertising prices and limit the choice of publishers and advertisers.
Google has already offered to store specific Fitbit data in a separate “data silo” and not to use it for advertising purposes. However, that solution is not enough to clear up severe doubts about the effects of the acquisition, according to the European Commission.