The European Commission’s Approval of Google / Fitbit – A Case Note and Comment

CONCURRENCES COMPETITION LAW REVIEW Nr. 3-2021 (section: Chroniques Concentrations), August 2021 (https://www.concurrences.com)

9 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2021

See all articles by Simon Vande Walle

Simon Vande Walle

University of Tokyo - Graduate Schools for Law and Politics

Date Written: July 25, 2021

Abstract

The note summarizes and comments on the European Commission's decision to approve Google's acquisition of Fitbit, a maker of fitness trackers and smartwatches. The Commission approved the deal in December 2020, but made long-lasting behavioural remedies binding on Google.

The case constitutes only the second time an acquisition by GAFAM has triggered an intervention by the Commission (in 2016, the Commission cleared Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn with remedies). Yet, in a sign of just how much the views regarding acquisitions by Big Tech have changed, many observers greeted the Commission’s decision with disappointment. Market participants, privacy advocates and many scholars had been vocal in opposing the deal. They had warned of dire consequences for competition and privacy.

The case raises interesting questions relating to the role of privacy in EU merger control and the effectiveness of long-lasting behavioural remedies in fast-moving digital markets.

Keywords: antitrust, competition law, merger control

JEL Classification: K21

Suggested Citation

Vande Walle, Simon, The European Commission’s Approval of Google / Fitbit – A Case Note and Comment (July 25, 2021). CONCURRENCES COMPETITION LAW REVIEW Nr. 3-2021 (section: Chroniques Concentrations), August 2021 (https://www.concurrences.com), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3893079 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3893079

Simon Vande Walle (Contact Author)

University of Tokyo - Graduate Schools for Law and Politics ( email )

7-3-1 Hongo Bunkyo-Ku
Tokyo, 113-0033
Japan

HOME PAGE: http://www.simonvandewalle.eu

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