Consumer and citizen groups have significant concerns that Google’s proposed takeover of wearables manufacturer Fitbit would be a game-changer not only for how people interact with the online world but also for digital and related health markets. Regulators around the world – in particular those concerned with antitrust compliance and data privacy – must therefore give it their utmost attention. This will be a test case for how regulators address the immense power the tech giants exert over the digital economy and their ability to expand their ecosystems unchecked.
As stated by Peter Lewis, Director of The Australia Institute Centre for Responsible Technology:
“Google’s proposed acquisition of Fitbit is not in the interest of citizens.
“Thanks to Fitbit’s data, Google could become even more powerful in online advertising. Fitbit owns a huge trove of valuable data and data collection capabilities, so with this takeover Google could further boost its immense power in digital markets. .”
“If a tech giant like Google expands into the global digital healthcare markets, it might be to the detriment of other innovative players and citizens might pay the price.”
“Authorities need to closely scrutinise this deal, which is a test case for authorities to address the immense power the tech giants exert over the digital economy. They must ensure narrow commercial interests do not prevail over the broad interests of citizens.”