Taking too long? Close loading screen.
Connect with us

Tech

Google Faces European Inquiry Into Fitbit Acquisition

Published

on

LONDON — European Union authorities on Tuesday announced an investigation into Google’s $2.1 billion purchase of the fitness-tracking company Fitbit, raising alarms about the health data the internet giant would be acquiring as part of the deal.

The inquiry shows the increased scrutiny Google and other large technology companies are facing from regulators in Europe and the United States about their growing dominance of the digital economy. Officials have raised concerns that the biggest tech platforms buy smaller companies to solidify their dominance and limit competition.

Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission’s top antitrust regulator, said a preliminary investigation of the Fitbit deal had raised concerns about how Google would use data collected from Fitbit for its online advertising services, a market where Google is already dominant. The health and fitness data could be used to more narrowly target ads, she said.

“By increasing the data advantage of Google in the personalization of the ads it serves via its search engine and displays on other internet pages, it would be more difficult for rivals to match Google’s online advertising services,” the commission said in a statement announcing the investigation.

The commission, the executive body of the European Union, said the investigation would be completed by Dec. 9.

Google defended the acquisition, saying it competes with companies like Apple, Samsung and Garmin that offer fitness tracking devices.

“This deal is about devices, not data,” Rick Osterloh, senior vice president for devices and services, said in a blog post. The company said it would not use Fitbit health and wellness data for advertising services and offered to make a legally binding commitment to the commission to limit its use of the data.

Google said last year that it was buying Fitbit to gain a foothold in the market for wearable devices. One of the earliest companies in the segment, Fitbit helped popularize the goal of logging 10,000 steps a day. More recently, the San Francisco-based company has faced stiff competition from Apple and other makers of so-called smartwatches that blend some of the functionality of a smartphone with tracking of fitness activity.

Acquiring Fitbit would give Google another brand of hardware products. In recent years, the tech giant has introduced a series of Pixel smartphones and home appliances like its Nest thermostats and security cameras. On Tuesday, Google also announced that it was buying a $450 million stake in the home alarm company ADT.

The Fitbit deal had been expected to face government scrutiny as regulators look more closely at tech-industry acquisitions. In hindsight, many regulators view approval of past deals like Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp, or Google’s purchase of the online advertising platform DoubleClick, as having undermined competition in the market.

The European investigation adds to the regulatory challenges facing Google.

Last week, Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, was grilled by members of Congress over the company’s business practices, along with the top executives from Amazon, Apple and Facebook. Google is facing a possible antitrust suit from the Justice Department, along with an investigation from a collection of state attorneys general.

Google has long been a target of the European Union. From 2017 to 2019, Ms. Vestager’s office issued fines totaling roughly 8.25 billion euros, or about $9.7 billion, in three separate cases related to its online shopping service, Android mobile software and online advertising business. The penalties are now under appeal.

The European Consumer Organization, a Brussels-based group pushing for more oversight of the tech industry, cheered the Fitbit investigation.

“This takeover is likely to be a worrying game changer not only for how consumers interact with the online world but also for how their health data is used,” Monique Goyens, the group’s director general, said in a statement. “It is hugely important that the E.U. carries out this in-depth examination because wearable devices like Fitbit’s could in future give companies details of essentially everything consumers do 24/7.”

Source : NewYorkTimesRead More

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tech

Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

Published

on

Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

Advertisement

Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

Advertisement


Source

Continue Reading

Tech

Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

Published

on

Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

Advertisement

That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

Advertisement

Grab this offer while it’s still around!


Source

Continue Reading

Tech

Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

Published

on

Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

Advertisement

You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

Advertisement


Source

Continue Reading

Trending