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Google completes its acquisition of Fitbit

The company has assured regulators that it will protect consumers’ privacy

Photo (c) franckreporter - Getty Images
Google announced on Thursday that it has completed its $2.1 billion acquisition of wearables maker Fitbit. 

The deal was first announced in November of 2019 and spurred an investigation into what Google planned to do with Fitbit users’ data. Fitbit has health data on more than 28 million users, and European regulators were concerned that the tech giant could use that data to help personalize ads. 

However, Google assured regulators that the deal was “about devices, not data” and promised not to use Fitbit data if the deal was approved. 

“This deal has always been about devices, not data, and we’ve been clear since the beginning that we will protect Fitbit users’ privacy,” Rick Osterloh, Google’s Senior Vice President of devices and services, said in a statement.

“We worked with global regulators on an approach which safeguards consumers’ privacy expectations, including 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,” he added.

Privacy commitments secured

European regulators investigating the deal gave it the green light last month after receiving commitments from Google regarding data privacy. 

"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," Chief Executive James Park said in a letter to Fitbit users Thursday.

Park said the acquisition will enable Fitbit to “do even more to inspire and motivate you on your journey to better health.” 

“We’ll be able to innovate faster, provide more choices, and make even better products to support your health and wellness needs. On our own, we pushed the bounds of what was possible from the wrist, pioneering step, heart rate, sleep and stress tracking. With access to Google’s incredible resources, knowledge and global platform, the possibilities are truly limitless.” 

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