back to article How many steps was that, then? Uncle Sam's lawyers, watchdog race to probe Google's Fitbit gobble

The US Department of Justice has beat out the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to become the top dog in an antitrust review of Google’s proposed purchase of fitness tracker Fitbit. According to sources who have briefed several media outlets, both arms of the government wanted to take a look at the $2.1bn buy. The FTC would …

  1. IceC0ld

    Google are after a Co for the data slurping potential, nothing to do with if the Co is any good / the product has integrity anymore, it's all about how much data will it provide, and that, right there should be the only trail worth any effort to follow :o(

    also Google after yet more data for ad revenue - colour me surprised

    1. fwthinks

      Diminishing returns?

      I can see the potential of collecting and aggregating large amounts of data on individuals, but only for selling as datasets to other businesses - for example I am sure health insurance companies would love to see fitbit data to help them increase your premiums.

      However there must be a limit to this from an advertising perspective. Even if my best friend was deciding what adverts I should see online, I would be very surprised if I would suddenly start buying more stuff that I don't need.

      Maybe I am looking at this the wrong way. It could be that companies that want to advertise simply don't understand that after a certain level of targeting, your revenue will not increase, but your costs will. If companies (and political parties) continue to demand ever more detailed targeting capability, then Google is simply meeting that demand.

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Google are after a Co for the data slurping potential

      Yes. Google's business model is basically advertising plus "O hai, we see you collect data. We would like that data".

      Then after a few years, when the data is no longer contributing sufficient information, they'll kill the product off.

      In this case, personally, I don't care; I've never owned and never will own a "fitness tracker", as I find instrumentality of that sort obnoxious. But Google's general data-slurping behavior is annoying.

  2. ratfox
    Paris Hilton

    When has a merger like these ever been rejected by the US? I'm genuinely curious.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      If only you had access to some sort of global collection of information which could satisfy that curiosity.

      My first result from that search was an article which provides one set of answers to your query: in 2001, 2002, and 2011 (twice). Locating other examples is left as an exercise for the reader.

  3. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Mil Ops

    Anybody remember when tracking data was shown from military bases on where personnel ran based on FitBit data that was "shared". There were even tracks that are thought to be from guards doing their rounds. Of course, Goggle would never sell any of that sort or information (publicly).

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Mil Ops

      That was Strava. Google probably already has more military users sharing their location data with it all the time,

  4. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Cover blown

    "I want to know if I can trust you or if you're a government agent. Show me your Google ads."

  5. julian.smith

    Already binned my Fitbit

    Problematic performance

    - Doesn't understand how to measure floors climbed

    - Feeble battery life

    and now with free Google slurping.

    Replaced with a Huawei B4

    - superior technology

    - China is no threat to me

    1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

      Re: Already binned my Fitbit

      Let me correct that for you: China is no threat to me yet.

      I think that you have every reason to be very worried about China (as do we all).

  6. BGatez

    Thought the Orange Orc loved fitbit as it reports his big mac consumption as an arm workout

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