Lawmakers raise concerns over Google takeover of Fitbit

Privacy advocates and lawmakers are raising concerns over Google’s $2.1 billion deal to acquire fitness tracking company Fitbit. The acquisition is an ambitious step by Google to expand the company’s footprint into wearables and health apps.

However, the deal comes amid mounting scrutiny into the tech giant’s market power and growing fears about Big Tech’s collection of health data from consumers.

Google announced the deal on Friday, and in the days since a number of consumer and privacy groups, as well as lawmakers from across the aisle, have already been pressing regulators to take a closer look.

Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), who chairs the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, said the deal threatens “to further entrench [Google’s] market power online.”

“This proposed transaction is a major test of antitrust enforcers’ will and ability to enforce the law and halt anti-competitive concentrations of economic power. It deserves an immediate and thorough investigation,” Cicilline said.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), a fierce critic of Silicon Valley, questioned whether Google should even be allowed to go through with the deal while it is already under scrutiny.

“Why should Google be permitted to acquire even more companies while they’re under DOJ [Department of Justice] antitrust investigation,” Hawley tweeted, shortly after the deal was announced.