EU antitrust regulators set July 20 deadline for Google, Fitbit deal

FILE PHOTO: Fitbit Blaze watch is seen in front of a displayed Google logo in this illustration picture taken, November 8, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU antitrust regulators will decide by July 20 whether to clear Alphabet Inc-owned Google’s $2.1 billion bid for fitness trackers company Fitbit, a deal that has prompted concerns from consumer groups and privacy advocates.

Google sought EU approval on Monday, according to a filing on the European Commission website.

The EU competition enforcer can either clear the deal with or without concessions or it can open a four-month long investigation if it has serious concerns.

The acquisition would help Google compete with Apple and Samsung in the crowded market for fitness trackers and smart watches. Other players are Huawei [HWT.UL] and Xiaomi.

While privacy concerns are not part of the EU antitrust review, the trove of health data generated from Fitbit devices used to monitor users’ daily steps, calories burned and distance travelled and how Google plans to use it is expected to be a focus.

European consumer group BEUC has called the deal a game-changer in the health and digital markets.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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