The EU is demanding Google make major concessions relating to the acquisition of Fitbit if the deal is to be allowed to go forward, FT reports, citing unidentified people with direct knowledge of the matter.
According to the Financial Times, the EU wants Google to pledge it will not use Fitbit’s health data to enhance its search advantage and that it will grant third parties equal access to it.
Since it was announced last November, the acquisition has faced steep opposition from consumer groups and regulators, who have raised concerns over the effect of Google’s access to Fitbit’s health data on competition.
EU regulators now want the company to pledge that it will not use that information to “further enhance its search advantage” and that it will grant third parties equal access to it, these people said. The move comes days after the EU regulators suffered a major blow in Luxembourg, losing a landmark case that would have forced Apple pay back €14.3b in taxes to Ireland.
Brussels insiders said that a refusal by Google to comply with the new demands would probably result in a protracted investigation, adding that such a scenario could ultimately leave the EU at a disadvantage.