Home / Business / Google said it was closing its acquisition of Fitbit, uh, without DOJ approval?

Google said it was closing its acquisition of Fitbit, uh, without DOJ approval?



Rick Osterloh, Google’s senior vice president of hardware, announced Thursday that Google has closed the acquisition of Fitbit.The $ 2.1 billion deal was announced in November 2019 and began a regulatory review process from governments around the world involved in the influence. Of Google on the Internet and information that can be gathered from users.

Usually, Osterloh announces that “Google has successfully acquired Fitbit, and I want to personally welcome this talented team to Google,” meaning that Google has cleared regulations around the world. Oddly enough, the Department of Justice has not cleared the deal, as the DOJ told New York Times reporter Cecilia Kang, “the antitrust investigation into Google’s acquisition of Fitbit continues.” Australia’s regulator has yet to announce a final decision on mergers and acquisitions. It seems like a provocation, especially for Google, to do this while handling the DOJ antitrust investigation.

When asked about the status of the DOJ merger investigation, a Google spokesperson told Ars, “We have followed the DOJ’s thorough audit over the past 14 months and the agreed waiting period will be over.” Down without objection, we remain in touch with They and we are committed to answering any additional questions. We are confident that this deal will increase competition in the crowded wearables market, and we promise to apply it all over the world. “

However, legal issues have worked.The announcement doesn’t provide much information on Google’s future plans for Fitbit.Osterloh started by praising Fitbit’s existing lineup, calling the Fitbit Sense smartwatch, the Inspire 2 tracker. And various Fitbit health metrics.Google doesn’t make cheap fitness trackers, but the company’s Google Fit app has a lot of overlap in both smartwatches and health metrics, Google says it wants. “Making it more people and healthier, more accessible,” and “we are confident that Fitbit’s combination of leading technology, product expertise and innovation in health and wellness with good AI, software and hardware, will make it easier for everyone.” Most of Google will drive more competition. In wearable devices and making next-generation devices better and more affordable. ”

James Park, CEO, president and co-founder of Fitbit also had a blog post today, saying: “Much of what you know and love about Fitbit will remain the same. We will continue to strive to do the right thing to maintain your health.” And being healthy is at the center of everything we do and to offer a one-size-fits-all approach, with no alternative to Android and iOS.

Fitbit and Google overlap.

Fossil Gen 5 LTE, a Wear OS smart watch announced in 2021, using the same CPU as the smartwatch from 2014.
Expand / Fossil Gen 5 LTE, a Wear OS smart watch announced in 2021, using the same CPU as the smartwatch from 2014.

fossil

Google’s existing Wear OS platform appears to be dead. The last major update to the operating system was in 2018, and before that, Wear OS had never had a solid hardware background.Qualcomm, the main SoC supplier of Android, never gave Wear OS a chance. It will make the smartwatch platform worse with a very bad launch of SoCs.Since the inception of Wear OS in 2014, Qualcomm’s marketing department has made the Snapdragon 400, Wear 2100 and Wear 3100, but at the heart of They are all quad-core Cortex A7 SoCs built on a 28nm manufacturing process.Until the 2020 Wear 4100 is announced, Qualcomm has released a wearable SoC that will go up to higher standards than previous chips in Year 2014

On the other hand, Wear OS’s main competition, the Apple Watch, has the luxury of Apple’s internal SoC division, which regularly improves performance every year.Apple hasn’t said much on official chip specs, but said the Apple Watch S6. The latest SoC uses the A13 Bionic, and since the A13 is 7nm, it is likely the S6 as well. As a quad-core 12nm Cortex A53 SoC, the Snapdragon Wear 4100 still can’t compete with what Apple has to offer, with Qualcomm promising a mere 85 percent performance improvement over seven years ago. When you are starving, everything looks delicious.

Google Fit fell victim to Google’s impulsivity: the company Say It caters to a particular market. But it doesn’t seem to be able to provide a functional and well-supported product in those markets.Wear OS used to have best-in-class weight training tracking, which can detect and record exercise movements. But Google mysteriously killed this feature two months ago. There used to be a Google Fit website, which, like Fitbit, offers all your stats from a massive dashboard, but Google killed off the Google Fit website in early 2019 after years of neglect. After all, things like Wear OS weight tracking, which were released in 2017, are not supported.

Google Fit app
Expand / Google Fit app

Google

Neither Google Fit nor Wear OS was mentioned in Thursday’s announcement from Google and Fitbit.

Fitbit is not a slam dunk acquisition in the health sector either, while the company is a pioneer in the traditional step-counting market and may (probably) be seen as a valuable brand. But Fitbit’s market share has dropped to a single digit as competition increases, Apple is hitting it from the high-end with the Apple Watch, and Chinese companies like Xiaomi are taking over the low-cost step-counter market. How the Fitbit / Google team will address these issues is unclear. It also doesn’t make Google smartwatches the stable and competitive hardware platform they desperately need. The deal feels like the last two companies are teaming up to try to survive.

Privacy and Nest samples are gone.

The big question about Fitbit acquisitions, such as the previous Nest purchase, is what Google will do with all of Fitbit’s data.This was a major battleground during a review of the EU deal, and Google made some promises. With the European Union to make the agreement be approved

A side story on Google was stated in a blog post by Osterloh saying, “This deal has always been about the device, not information, and it was clear from the start that we would protect the privacy of Fitbit users … Fitbit user health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads, and this information will be excluded from other Google ad data. “Google also said it will not do crazy things with Android, such as locking all Android phones, only to the device. Wearing a Fitbit, which is clearly something of the EU’s concern.

This part of the European Union is here, and most speak similarly, noting that “Google will maintain a technical separation of the relevant Fitbit user data. The data is stored in a ‘data silo’, which is extracted from the data. “This sounds like a separate commitment that Google has to Nest, where Google says it will” keep images, videos, audio recordings and home environment sensor readings separate from ads. ” The EU also said that Google is committed to providing third parties access to Fitbit data through the Fitbit Web API.The duration of Google’s commitment is 10 years.

Existing Fitbit data definitely needs to be protected, and you can delete your Fitbit account here if you want to do so. In the future, though, Fitbit’s fitness tracking and Google’s Wear OS fitness tracker will be so similar that Google hasn’t received any new streams from its Fitbit acquisitions.The new product space could be a Fitbit step counter. It’s cheap, but Android smartphones can already do it, and so do Android smartwatches.Google will get more users because of its existing Fitbit user base, but as we’ve said, that’s not a huge deal given the competition. All moved in

There is still a big question about what will happen to Fitbit accounts.If we follow the Nest story, which was merged with Google in 2018 after just a few years of failing as a standalone Alphabet company, there could be some big changes for users. Fitbit, Nest users, saw that the Nest account system was discontinued due to forced migration to the integrated Google account. It also led to the loss of the “Works with Nest” API, which resulted in compatibility with other devices and services. As a brand, Nest was used to build Google’s generic smart home brand, replacing the line of Google Home speakers, smart displays, and Wi-Fi hotspots, while still being used on original Nest products such as the Terminal. Smoke sensors, cameras and smoke detectors.

It looks like a Google Fitbit-made device will finally arrive, and Google may enter the market for a cheaper fitness tracker. That doesn’t resolve any issues that prevented Google from competing in wearables.Previously, when Google and Fitbit were unable to compete with Apple, Samsung and Xiaomi separately, it was unclear why they thought the odds would. Better

Ars Policy Reporter Kate Cox contributed to this report.

Item image by Fitbit




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