Fitbit is now officially a part of Google. The search engine giant has completed the acquisition of the American fitness company. Google started Fitbit’s acquisition in November 2019. It paid USD 2.1 billion to clinch the deal. But the acquisition process was delayed because of the regulatory review of the transaction. The deal faced scrutiny over the privacy of users’ data. Fitbit co-founder James Park assured to maintain strong privacy of users data. Park promised that Google will continue to provide strict security protections as he said that the trust of customers is paramount. He added that Fitbit will remain transparent about what data it collects from users and the purpose behind such collections.
The regulator had expressed apprehensions that Google could use the vast data of Fitbit to further cement its position in the market. This could pose a threat to other players. It said that Google could use the data for the personalization of the advertisements. The European Commission later launched an in-depth probe. Under the EU Merger Regulation, it scrutinized the acquisition. Park said that Google will not use Fitbit users’ data related to their health and wellness for advertisements. The executive said that such data will be kept separate from the search engine’s data related to ads.
Google separately said that it will ensure data privacy. It said that Fitbit users will be allowed to connect to third-party services as per their choice. The company said that deal to acquire Fitbit is all about devices. It has nothing to do with the data of users. It promised to safeguard users’ privacy expectations. Fitbit is a popular fitness brand. The company didn’t host an earnings conference call in 2020 since its acquisition by Google was pending. It sold 3.3 million devices in the third quarter of 2020, an 8 percent jump YoY, and reported revenue of USD 364 million. According to Fitbit’s claim, it has sold over 120 million fitness devices all over the world. It has nearly 29 million active users in more than 100 countries.