Google Set to Win EU Approval for Fitbit Purchase

Google offers fresh concessions to the European Commission, a report says.
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Alphabet’s Google  (GOOGL) - Get Report reportedly is set to win antitrust approval from the European Union for its $2.1 billion purchase of fitness tracker maker Fitbit  (FIT) - Get Report.

Reuters reported that Google offered fresh concessions to the European Commission in a bid to address concerns the deal could entrench Google’s power in online advertising and boost its trove of data.

The company said it had offered to restrict the use of Fitbit data for Google ads and would also tighten the monitoring of that process.

"We’re also formalizing our longstanding commitment to supporting other wearable manufacturers on Android and to continue to allow Fitbit users to connect to third party services via APIs (application programming interfaces) if they want to,” Google told Reuters in a statement.

The concessions are set to clear the way for the deal to be approved, Reuters said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The EU competition enforcer will now seek feedback from rivals and customers before deciding whether to accept Google’s concessions, demand more, or either clear or block the detail.

Last month, it rejected Google’s pledge not to use the fitness tracker’s data for advertising purposes in a bid to address competition concerns, saying that it was insufficient.

Fitbit had a 3% share of the global wearables market as of the first quarter of 2020, lagging behind Apple’s 29.3% share, as well as Xiaomi, Samsung and Huawei, Reuters said, citing data from market research firm International Data Corp.

In August, Amazon  (AMZN) - Get Report introduced the Amazon Halo, a health and fitness-tracking wristband paired with a subscription service and smartphone app.

The commission recently asked Google’s rivals and customers about interoperability issues, what technical steps Google could take to foreclose competition to Fitbit to increase its sales, and what could prompt it to do so, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Alphabet shares were up slightly to $1,470.18, while Fitbit was up 6.46% to $7.01.