European Commission is taking longer to investigate Google acquisition of Fitbit

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The European Commission is taking longer to investigate the acquisition of Fitbit by Google. The deadline was first in the autumn, but now it runs until just before Christmas, the Commission says.

This decision was taken with the consent of both companies involved, Reuters reports, based on a statement from the European Commission. The deadline will now be December 23. The Commission announced the investigation in early August.

The EC is especially concerned about the access that Google gets to data from Fitbit users. Those concerns are specifically about online searches and the ads that come with them, and ‘ad tech services’ themselves.

The data that Google receives with the acquisition could potentially provide a major advantage in the online advertising market. The Commission believes that Google already has a dominant position in that market in European countries. The takeover would only strengthen that position.

The Commission is also looking at two other cases. For example, the researchers want to see the effect of the takeover on the ‘digital health sector’, which in Europe is ‘still in a growing phase’. The Commission also wants to know what opportunities and interests Google has to thwart competing wearable services, for example by deteriorating the operation on Android.

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