Google’s recent agreement to purchase Fitbit has hit a bit of a speed bump as the U.S. Justice Department will be reviewing the transaction for antitrust issues. The deal is valued around $2.1 billion, and several watchdog groups are concerned that the acquisition would give Google unprecedented access to consumer data.
Concerned organizations include the likes of Public Citizen and the Center for Digital Democracy. The latter is involved in projects such as the campaign for an open internet and advocating for more transparent online marketing, while the former is more broadly involved in public interest cases. Of course, the Federal Trade Commission can review all mergers as they occur, yet they opted not to do so in this particular case.
Antitrust investigations are not uncommon in the tech industry. Facebook, Amazon, and Apple have all been subject to such proceedings. Whether or not this latest buyout will be reversed or modified is yet to be seen. Acquiring Fitbit could help Google better compete in the wearable industry. Apple has long been the leader of this market, but perhaps the combination of Fitbit and Google technology could turn the tides.
- The New York Post