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WIRED: Google Is Basically Daring the Government to Block Its Fitbit Deal

Date Published: November 13, 2019

WIRED’s Gilad Edelman writes that Google’s moves into health data will test how serious antitrust enforcers are about privacy issues. “These promises about what they’re going to do with data in the context of merger approvals deserve absolutely no weight,” Open Markets Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard told WIRED. “Especially when you’re talking about a company that has persistently violated the privacy laws, been repeatedly fined—a persistent recidivist when it comes to privacy violations.”

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Bloomberg: Google-Fitbit Deal Should Be Blocked by U.S., Groups Say

Date Published: November 13, 2019

Bloomberg’s David McLaughlin reports on the letter submitted to the Federal Trade Commission by Open Markets and eight other public interest groups demanding that U.S. antitrust enforcers stop Google’s proposed acquisition of Fitbit Inc. because the deal will further consolidate the search giant’s control over consumer data. “Through its vast portfolio of internet services, Google knows more about us than any other company, and it should not be allowed to add yet another way to track our every move,” they said.

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The Hill: Top antitrust Dem presses DOJ, FTC on Google’s Fitbit acquisition

Date Published: November 13, 2019

The Hill reports on Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), chairman of the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, pressing top officials at the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over Google’s proposed acquisition of fitness tracking company Fitbit. Cicilline cited a letter by Open Markets and eight other public interest submitted to the FTC calling for the acquisition to be blocked.

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The Hill: Google sparks new privacy fears over health care data

Date Published: November 13, 2019

The Hill’s Chris Mills Rodrigo’s reports on how Google’s work to help Ascension, the nation’s largest nonprofit health system, collect and analyze data on millions of patients is coming under intense scrutiny from lawmakers, privacy advocates and regulators. He speaks with Open Markets Policy Analyst Daniel Hanley about the risks Google poses in holding health data and how the corporation’s track record in protecting data has been less than ideal.

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Quartz: Why is it called antitrust?

Date Published: November 12, 2019

What is antitrust? Quartz’s Alison Griswold provides a brief primer on the history of the term antitrust. “Standard Oil is often referred to as the first trust,” she writes. “And the legal mechanism Rockefeller pioneered paved the way for an unprecedented period of monopolization in the US.” She cites Open Markets Fellow Matt Stoller’s new book, Goliath: The 100 Year War Between Monopoly and Democracy.

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