- Lifestyle & Sports
- 14 Jan 21
Despise the deal being closed, Reuters has reported that the US Department of Justice’s probe into the Google/Fitbit merger is still ongoing.
Google has officially confirmed its acquisition of Fitbit after a months-long probe, which was first announced in November 2019.
The deal had been subject to an investigation into whether it could further push Google’s market position in the online advertising business if it uses Fitbit data to help personalise ads.
While Google doesn’t build its own smartwatches or fitness trackers, it provides the software that’s used by other companies to build smartwatches.
“This deal has always been about devices, not data, and we’ve been clear since the beginning that we will protect Fitbit users’ privacy,” Google’s Senior Vice President of devices and services Rick Osterloh said in a statement.
“We worked with global regulators on an approach which safeguards consumers’ privacy expectations, including a series of binding commitments that confirm Fitbit users’ health and wellness data won’t be used for Google ads and this data will be separated from other Google ads data,” he added.
The company said it will still allow Fitbit users to choose to connect to third party services, so they can still connect different health and wellness apps to their Fitbit accounts.
Fitbit founder James Park described the acquisition as "an incredibly exciting moment for us as a company and for our Fitbit community of users around the globe."
"When Eric and I founded Fitbit 13 years ago, we did so with a simple, but bold idea: to make everyone in the world healthier. Since shipping the original Fitbit tracker in 2009 to now having sold more than 120 million devices in over 100 countries, this mission has never wavered.
"Instead, millions of you joined that mission, and made Fitbit a movement that transformed lives," Park added. "In some cases, we heard from our users that we even helped save lives. Together, we’ve taken 275 trillion steps and logged over 15 billion hours of sleep."
According to Park, becoming part of the Google family means that the company will be able to innovate faster, provide more choices, and make even better products to support your health and wellness needs.
"On our own, we pushed the bounds of what was possible from the wrist, pioneering step, heart rate, sleep and stress tracking. With access to Google’s incredible resources, knowledge and global platform, the possibilities are truly limitless."
The founder also addressed data privacy concerns surrounding Google's acquisition of Fitbit, stating that users will still be allowed to choose to connect to third party services. Google has made a series of binding commitments with global regulators, confirming that Fitbit users' health and wellness data won't be used for Google ads and this data will be kept separate from other Google ad data.
"We’ll stay committed to doing what’s right, to putting your health and wellness at the centre of everything we do. The trust of our users will continue to be paramount, and we will maintain strong data privacy and security protections, giving you control of your data and staying transparent about what we collect and why."