Senators Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, and five other Democratic senators urged the Justice Department to be cautious in reviewing Google’s planned purchase of Fitbit, saying the tech giant had already cemented its dominance in some areas through acquisitions, reported Reuters.
In a letter to Attorney General William Barr, the seven Democratic senators expressed skepticism that the purchase was solely a bid to enter the wearables market since Google’s revenues are largely based on advertising driven by consumer data.
“Adding Fitbit’s consumer data to Google’s could further diminish the ability of companies to compete with Google in … ad technology markets and could raise barriers for potential competitors to enter these markets,” the lawmakers wrote.
Warren and Klobuchar, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, have both been outspoken on antitrust issues. They were joined on the letter by Senators Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker, Mazie Hirono, Sherrod Brown, and Mark Warner.
The lawmakers also noted that Google had formally told European antitrust enforcers that it would not use Fitbit’s health data to help it target ads. The senators called the offer “modest, short-term concessions.”
Fitbit’s fitness trackers and other devices monitor users’ daily steps, calories burned, and distance traveled. They also measure floors climbed, sleep duration and quality, and heart rate.
Full Content: Reuters