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Google has closed its $2.1 billion purchase of Fitbit’s fitness gadget manufacturer

Google has closed its $2.1 billion purchase of Fitbit’s exercise device manufacturer, a move that will help the internet giant grow stronger as U.S. federal officials fight antitrust lawsuits aimed at weakening its control.

Thursday’s acquisition comes to an end 14 months after Google revealed an arrangement that quickly sparked alarms.

Google makes much of its revenue by distributing advertisements on the basis of information it gathers about its billions of users’ preferences and locations. Privacy watchdogs worried that Fitbit could be used to peer further into people’s lives.

Although Google has entered into a series of commitments in Europe and other areas of the world, it can not use the health and wellbeing data of Fitbit’s 29 million subscribers to market more advertisements. It maintains that it is more interested in adding Fitbit to its expanding arsenal of Internet-connected items, including smartphones, tablets, headphones, cameras, and thermostats.

“This deal has always been about devices, not data, and we’ve been clear since the beginning that we will protect Fitbit users’ privacy,” Rick Osterloh, Google’s senior vice president of devices and services, wrote in a Thursday blog post.

The trial of the Department of Justice is not expected to begin until September 2023.

Since beginning with little more than its own search engine in 1998, Google has been a major force in the e-mail, interactive maps, online searching and mobile devices through its Android operating system.

The popularity of these free services propels the global advertisement empire and is the primary reason that Google’s corporate parent, Mountain View, California-based Alphabet Inc., has a market cap of almost $1.2 trillion.

Before January 13, the U.S. Department of Justice had to object to the Fitbit arrangement, but it did not file a formal objection. The Department did not respond immediately to Thursday’s request for comments.

Google said it was able to address any more questions the Department of Justice may have about its Fitbit contract.

What does this mean?

The privacy of Fitbit’s 29 million customers will continue to be covered under Google’s deal with foreign regulators.

James Park, Fitbit’s CEO and co-founder said in an email to users that Google will seek to protect the privacy of Fitbit users and has made a range of binding agreements with global authorities, confirming that the fitness and wellbeing data of Fitbit users will not be used for Google Advertisements and that this data will be kept separate from all Google Ad Data.

This ensures that customers of the wearables manufacturer will continue to link to third-party providers. They can also connect their mobile account to other health and wellness applications.

 

 

 

 



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