Google’s Fitbit acquisition might deal with DOJ antitrust probe


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Google deals with examination over its Fitbit acquisition.

Angela Lang/CNET

Google’s $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit, the physical fitness tracker leader, will deal with antitrust examination from the United States Department of Justice, according to a report by the New York Post on Tuesday. 

The company is worried about customer information, specifically health details, that Google might access through the Fitbit buyout. Google’s mergers have actually traditionally been examined by the Federal Trade Commission, the other United States company in charge of antitrust oversight. But given that the Justice Department is going through a more comprehensive probe of Google, the company will likewise check out the Fitbit offer, stated the Post. 

Reached for remark, a Google representative indicated a declaration by hardware chief Rick Osterloh when the business revealed the acquisition last month. “Similar to our other products, with wearables, we will be transparent about the data we collect and why,” Osterloh composed. “We will never sell personal information to anyone. Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads. And we will give Fitbit users the choice to review, move, or delete their data.”

The Justice Department didn’t return an ask for remark.

The news comes as Google currently deals with extreme antitrust examination. Aside from the more comprehensive probe by the Justice Department, Google is likewise involved in a different examination by attorney generals of the United States from 48 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. They’re checking out Google’s possibly monopolistic practices when it concerns digital marketing and search results page. 

Google has actually dealt with blowback for other healthcare tasks. The business was slammed last month for its handle Ascension, the 2nd biggest healthcare system in the United States. The effort gathers client details from countless Americans, consisting of information on laboratory outcomes, medical diagnoses and hospitalization records that consist of client names and birthdates. The task has actually stimulated a query by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

Google has actually formerly stired debate for its handling of medical information. Two years back, Google, the University of Chicago and an associated medical center struck a collaboration that permitted the search giant to utilize client information and health records in an effort to enhance predictive analysis. 

But in July, the search giant, the university and the medical center were struck with a suit after the medical center presumably shared records with Google without removing away recognizable details. That information consisted of medical professionals’ notes and date stamps for “hundreds of thousands” of clients. At the time, Google stated it acted in accordance with the law. The University of Chicago stated the claims were “without merit.”

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