Late last year Google announced its attention to purchase fitness-focused wearable company Fitbit, with the pair agreeing a deal around the $2.1 billion mark. Google also explained that it hoped to finalise the deal during 2020, but it looks like it will face a bit more scrutiny before Fitbit can join its ranks.
This as antitrust regulators in the European Union are taking a closer look at the deal, and in particular wanting to know what Google plans to do with the user health data that Fitbit collects from its devices and value-added services.
According to a report from The Financial Times (paywall), EU regulators have sent a 60-page questionnaire to Google in order to gather the information on the deal that it needs.
In particular the regulators are wanting to know what kind of implications this deal could have for other fitness apps on the Google Play Store, and whether they could be disadvantaged in any way by Google having its own in-house data thanks to Fitbit.
Added to this, are questions as to how the fitness data could be used by Google for search or advertising purposes.
The regulators have set a 20th July deadline for its next action to be taken, where they can take one of three options – approve the deal, ask for concessions or launch a four-month long investigation.
It remains to be seen what will be done, but this would not be the first time that Google and the EU have been in opposition, with the Android antitrust instance of 2018 where a €4.3 billion fine was imposed, being the most notable case.
Either way, Google and Fitbit will learn their fates later this month, with the control of data once again becoming a contentious issue.