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Google completes its acquisition of Fitbit

The company said it worked with global regulators on an approach that safeguarded consumers' privacy expectations, in a blog post on Thursday.

Google pledged not to use Fitbit’s data about users’ health and fitness for online advertising and to store Fitbit’s data separately from its ad services.
Google pledged not to use Fitbit’s data about users’ health and fitness for online advertising and to store Fitbit’s data separately from its ad services. (AP)

Google announced on Thursday that it had finally completed its acquisition of Fitbit, in a huge boost for the tech giant in its attempt to enter the wearable devices market. The company said it worked with global regulators on an approach that safeguarded consumers' privacy expectations, in a blog post on Thursday.

The announcement comes a month after Google won approval for its acquisition of the fitness wearable creator from EU antitrust regulators after it agreed to restrict its use of Fitbit’s 29 million active users - not using it for advertisements, more specifically. The announcement was made by Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President (Devices & Services) at Google.

Osterloh stated that Google would work to create new devices and services in the future and that user privacy, that user privacy and security were “paramount” to achieving that goal, committing to protecting their health information and putting them in control of their data.

Read more: Google-Fitbit deal gets EU's blessings

Going on to state that the deal was always about devices and not data, Osterloh also stated that Google would maintain access to the Android APIs that enabled devices like fitness trackers and smartwatches and let them operate with Android phones. Fitbit users will also have access to third-party services to sync other apps to their Fitbit accounts, Osterloh stated.

However, Reuters reported that the Justice Department would continue to investigate Google as it “had not reached a final decision on whether to pursue and enforcement action” against the company in connection with the Fitbit deal. The Department had already moved a court against the company last October in connection with their search and ad business for alleged violations of antitrust law.

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