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Google closes the Fitbit acquisition, pledges to not use data for ads

Today Google’s senior VP of Hardware, Rick Osterloh, announced Google has closed its acquisition of Fitbit. The $2.1 billion deal was announced back in November 2019, which kicked off a regulatory review process from governments around the world concerned about Google’s influence over the Internet and the data it can collect on users.

Normally, Osterloh announcing “Google has completed its acquisition of Fitbit, and I want to personally welcome this talented team to Google” would mean Google has cleared its worldwide regulatory gauntlet. Google’s announcement today is highly unusual since the DOJ has not yet cleared the deal. As the US Department of Justice told New York Times reporter Cecilia Kang, “The Antitrust Division’s investigation of Google’s acquisition of Fitbit remains ongoing.” Australian regulators also haven’t announced a final decision on the merger. It also seems particularly provocative for Google to do something like this while it is also dealing with a DOJ antitrust investigation.

When asked about the status of the DOJ’s merger investigation, a Google spokesperson told Ars “We complied with the DOJ’s extensive review for the past 14 months, and the agreed-upon waiting period expired without their objection. We continue to be in touch with them and we’re committed to answering any additional questions. We are confident this deal will increase competition in the highly crowded wearables market, and we’ve made commitments that we plan to implement globally.”

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