Google Completes Fitbit Purchase -- Without Waiting For Justice Department Approval

Google has completed its $2.1 billion acquisition of wearable technology company Fitbit -- without waiting for the Department of Justice to clear the deal.

Google vows it won't draw on Fitbit data for advertising purposes, and will allow Fitbit users to connect to third-party services. Google says it will also maintain access to the programming tools that allow fitness trackers and smartwatches to interoperate with Android smartphones.

“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, senior vice president for devices and services at Google, said in a blog post. “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.”

The deal closed around one month after gaining approval from European antitrust regulators.

But in the U.S., the Justice Department has not yet endorsed the merger.

Some privacy advocates in the U.S. said last year that they opposed the deal. The Electronic Frontier Foundation argued that the acquisition “poses an extraordinary threat to competition and user privacy.”

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