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Google closes its Fitbit acquisition

2021-01-14 17:25 by
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Alphabet-owned Google announced Thursday it's finally completed the acquisition of Fitbit, which was first announced in November 2019.

The approval came with a number of conditions, including that Google cannot use Fitbit data from users in the European Economic Area (EEA) such as GPS and health data for ad targeting. As part of the approval, EEA users must also be able to opt-out of having their health and wellness data shared with other Google services, and Google has agreed to continue to support third-party wearables with Android. Those commitments, includingf the option to opt out, will apply to Fitbit users worldwide, Google tells The Verge, so that users outside the EEA can take advantage.

Fitbit may help boost Google's presence in the wearable market. While Google doesn't build its own smartwatches or fitness trackers, it provides the software that's used by other companies to build smartwatches. But they haven't provided as much in-depth information for workouts, sleep and other metrics that are important to people who want to improve their health.

It's not clear yet exactly how Fitbit will change under Google's ownership; thus far it seems like the brand will continue to be distinct from Google. That's how things looked when Google purchased Nest as well, though — the smart home brand eventually lost its status as a separate company though and is now just a sub-brand of Google's hardware division.

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