U.S. antitrust enforcers should stop Google’s proposed acquisition of Fitbit Inc. because the deal will further consolidate the search giant’s control over consumer data, a coalition of privacy and consumer advocates said.
The $2.1 billion takeover would allow Google to entrench its monopoly power in the digital marketplace, the groups said Wednesday in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission.
“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.
Alphabet Inc.’s Google is a leader in digital data, and Fitbit would give it a new stream of valuable health and activity data from Fitbit’s more than 28 million users. The purchase will mean Apple Inc. and Google control more than half of the global smartwatch market. Apple had 46% of this growing sector at the end of the second quarter, while Fitbit had 10%, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.
A Google spokesman didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment about the letter to the FTC, which was signed by Open Markets Institute, the Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Federation of America, and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, among others.
A spokeswoman for the FTC didn’t immediately respond to a phone call and an email seeking comment.