Fitbit/Google: EU consumer body says merger a "game-changer" in digital, health markets

EU consumer body BEUC has called on the European Commission (EC) to conduct an in-depth investigation of Alphabet's [NASDAQ:GOOGL] Google’s acquisition of Fitbit [NYSE:FIT] as the merger would strengthen the company’s dominance in online advertising and place it in an "unassailable position" in the digital health and wearables markets.

In a brief published Wednesday (13 May) the consumer group said that the merger would be detrimental to consumers as a result of its impact on competition in a number of markets and that the EC should consider the impact Fitbit’s data and data collection capabilities would have on both horizontal and non-horizontal markets.

In November last year, Google agreed to acquire Fitbit for USD 7.35 per share, valuing the company at USD 2.1bn. The proposed transaction requires EC approval, according to the merger agreement. Fitbit markets wearable devices that measure health and fitness data. Google primarily offers its smartphone and smartwatch operating system software to independent hardware manufacturers, unlike Fitbit that take an integrated approach to software and hardware.

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