Google closes Fitbit deal | The Express Tribune


Search and advertising giant Google closed its deal to buy fitness tracking company Fitbit, the companies said on Thursday.

Fitbit’s fitness trackers and other devices monitor users’ steps and calories burned. They also measure floors climbed, heart rate, and how long and how well people sleep.

“Google will continue to protect Fitbit users’ privacy and has made a series of binding commitments with global regulators, confirming that Fitbit users’ health and wellness data won’t be used for Google ads and this data will be kept separate from other Google ad data,” Fitbit CEO James Park wrote.

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“We continue to be in touch with them and we’re committed to answering any additional questions,” Fitbit said.

Fitbit currently competes with Apple Watch and others. Google said it was buying the company to compete in this market.

The search engine giant’s plan to buy Fitbit raised concerns when it was announced in late 2019 because of its already rich trove of data about people, what they buy, where they travel, and more.

It is rare for a big deal to close without antitrust approval.

Google won EU antitrust approval last month for its Fitbit bid after agreeing to restrictions on how it will use customers’ health-related data

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“We worked with global regulators on an approach which safeguards consumers’ privacy expectations,” Google said in a blog post, which said Fitbit had 29 million active users.

“(That includes) a series of binding commitments that confirm Fitbit users’ health and wellness data won’t be used for Google ads and this data will be separated from other Google ads data.”

While Alphabet is best known for a free service, its search engine, it has many other businesses, including online advertising services, audio device and thermostat maker Nest, video streamer YouTube, and self-driving car company Waymo.





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