Google has completed its $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit Inc. after facing regulatory scrutiny, a deal that would let Google push more deeply into the wearable-device and health-data businesses.
The deal’s closing came after European Union antitrust officials last month approved the acquisition with conditions aimed at protecting users’ health data and preserving competition in the wearable-tech sector, clearing one of the deal’s final hurdles. The Alphabet Inc. company and other U.S.-based tech giants face many new antitrust cases and investigations into their alleged anticompetitive practices in both the U.S. and the EU.
“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 for devices and services, said Thursday.
To appease regulators, Google pledged not to use Fitbit data for advertising purposes in Europe and to store such data separate from any other Google data used in ads.
It also told regulators it would allow users to link their Fitbit data to competing apps and committed to allowing wearable-device makers open access to functions of Google’s Android operating system.