The European Union (EU) competition authority will formally investigate the acquisition of Fitbit by Google. The European Commission (EC) announced this on Tuesday.
Last week insiders already announced that the study was coming, but the EC has now formally announced the study.
The committee is concerned about Google's competitive position in the advertising market, which could become even greater with the acquisition of Fitbit. Google could use Fitbit's user data for Google ads, even though Google previously promised not to.
"Our research is designed to ensure that the data Google may collect after the acquisition from portable devices does not distort competition," said Margrethe Vestager, Vice President of the EC and responsible for competition policy, in a statement.
Google announced in November it plans to acquire Fitbit for $ 2.1 billion ($ 1.79 billion). The acquisition would allow Google to compete better with Apple and Samsung in fitness trackers and smartwatches.
Google is willing to make a legally binding commitment
Privacy watchdogs are afraid that Google will get too much user data through this acquisition. In an effort to address these concerns, Google promises not to use Fitbits' fit and health data for Google ads.
Google emphasizes again on Tuesday that the acquisition of Fitbit is "about devices, not data". "We recently suggested making a legally binding commitment to use Fitbit data to the European Commission."
In addition, Google argues that the acquisition of Fitbit is good for the market for smartwatches and fitness trackers. The company cites the Apple, Samsung, Garmin, Fossil, Huawei and Xiaomi brands, saying that adding "the combination of Google's and Fitbits hardware efforts will lead to increased competition."
The EC investigation into the takeover will take about three months. The committee has until 9 December to make a decision.