Press Release Platform Competition

Public Knowledge Warns Justice Department of Potential Competition Harms from Google-Fitbit Merger

April 30, 2020 , , ,

Today, Public Knowledge and the Consumer Federation of America sent a letter urging U.S. Attorney General William Barr to carefully review Google parent company Alphabet’s proposed Fitbit acquisition due to potential harms to competition.

In the letter, Public Knowledge argues that it is especially important to protect nascent and potential competition against dominant digital platforms like Google. When head-to-head horizontal competition is scarce, nascent and potential competition, like that provided by Fitbit or a potential alternative buyer of Fitbit, may be the only source of real competitive pressure on dominant digital platforms. Given Google’s existing dominance in the gathering and monetizing of consumer data, its proposed acquisition of Fitbit deserves careful scrutiny. 

The following can be attributed to Charlotte Slaiman, Competition Policy Director at Public Knowledge:

“This merger is particularly concerning given the power that Google already holds. Allowing Alphabet to purchase Fitbit, another large source of user data, jeopardizes the competitive marketplace. The Justice Department should pay close attention to this merger and how it may diminish actual and potential competition against Google.”

You may view the letter here.