The FTC and DOJ are investigating the Google/Fitbit merger

Google / Mobile / Tech / Wearables
Google and Fitbit logos

It seems both agencies are concerned that the now Google-owned Fitbit would give out user’s personal data which could include health information.

Back in November, Google announced it was buying Fitbit, the health-related fitness tracker company for US$2.1 billion. A source close to the situation is stating that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) are looking to investigate the merger a bit further. It appears that both agencies are concerned that the now Google-owned Fitbit would give out user’s personal data which could include health information.

The DOJ has already been investigating Google for broader anti-competitive issues thanks to them already looking into Fitbit could give them an early read on the Google investigation. In the past, the FTC has been reviewing deals Google made but with the DOJ joining the investigation, they’re both double-checking to make sure Google is following the correct anti-competitive behavior.

Last month, Public Citizens and the Center for Digital Democracy spoke to the FTC about blocking the merger between Google and Fitbit bringing up concerns with how user’s data would be collected and used.

“Through its vast portfolio of internet services, Google knows more about us than any other company and it should not be allowed to add yet another way to track our every move.”

Public Citizens and the Center for Digital Democracy

While it is clear as to why the FTC and the DOJ want to look further into the merger, Fitbit has previously stated that while Google will be the parent company, data will not be used for advertisements. How true that might be is beyond us since Google may find a loophole around that at some point. Any personal data, health-related or otherwise, should never be given to advertisers.

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  Source: engadget

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