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Australia’s consumer watchdog has delayed its decision to green light Google’s proposed acquisition of wearable giant Fitbit.

Today, the Australian Competition and Consumers Commission (ACCC) said it would not accept a behavioral commitment from Google necessary to obtain the acquisition over the line.

Instead, the ACCC will continue its investigation into the concerns about competition and will announce its decision on the new date of March 25, 2021.

The ACCC says it is concerned that the proposed merger between Fitbit and Google will give it an unfair advantage over rivals.
The ACCC says it is concerned that the proposed merger between Fitbit and Google will give it an unfair advantage over rivals. (AAP)

The watchdog is concerned that by buying Fitbit, Google will squeeze other players in the market that use Google’s software.

“The ACCC remains concerned that Google’s acquisition of Fitbit could result in Fitbit’s rivals, other than Apple, being pushed out of the wearable market as they rely on Google’s Android system and other services. from Google to keep their devices running efficiently. ” ACCC President Rod Sims said.

Sims said the ACCC was concerned that the Fitbit purchase would turn the market for fitness trackers into a two-horse race between Google and Apple.

Google proposed a merger with Fitbit last November.
Google proposed a merger with Fitbit last November. (AP)

“We are also continuing to investigate the potential impact of the acquisition on portable operating systems,” Sims said.

“The acquisition may make Google the default provider of portable operating systems for non-Apple devices and will give it the ability to be a data gatekeeper for portable devices, similar to the position it occupies for phones. smart phones that license the Android operating system.

“Wearable devices such as smart watches are becoming increasingly important in Australians’ online lives, and the user data collected by these devices is likely to be increasingly valuable.

“The competitive impacts of Google’s acquisition of Fitbit to expand into these important markets must be considered very carefully.”

Rod Sims, Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumers Commission (ACCC). (AAP)

Recently, the European Commission accepted Google’s commitment to ease concerns about competition, but the ACCC said it was not satisfied that the same processes could be monitored in a market the size of Australia.

“We recognize that we are a smaller jurisdiction and that a relatively small percentage of Fitbit and Google’s business takes place here, however the ACCC should come to its own opinion regarding the proposed acquisition given the importance of both companies to the trade in Australia, “said Mr. Sims said.


www.9news.com.au

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