By Joe Hoppe

 

The acquisition of health tracker Fitbit Inc. by Alphabet Inc.'s Google was conditionally approved Thursday by the European Commission, after finding a commitment package offered by Google would keep the wearables market open and competitive.

The European Union's antitrust enforcer opened an in-depth investigation into Google's plan to acquire Fitbit on Aug. 4, after saying that Google's initial pledge to not use data for advertising purposes was insufficient.

The $1.2 billion deal is also being reviewed by the U.S. Justice Department and by Australia's competition authority.

To address competition concerns, Google pledged not to use data collected by Fitbit for its Google Ads service, and to store data separately. It will also keep separate software applications for users to access health and fitness data, and will continue to allow producers of competing wearables to license the core functionality needed to work with Fitbits for free.

The commitments will last for 10 years, and the commission might extend the commitments for a further 10 years, given Google's entrenched market position.

 

Write to Joe Hoppe at joseph.hoppe@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 17, 2020 08:44 ET (13:44 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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