The EU conditionally clears acquisition by a big tech company of a smartwatch company active in a number of complementary markets, including app stores, online advertising, and the nascent digital healthcare sector (Google / Fitbit)

Google/Fitbit – The EU Commission Misses a Step* The European Commission’s 254-page decision approving Google’s acquisition of Fitbit (the “Decision”) offered the Commission a so-far unique opportunity to apply the 2019 report on “Competition policy for the digital era’s” (the “Digital Era Report’s”) recommendation to assess acquisitions by “gatekeeper platforms” of much smaller companies active in complementary markets using an “ecosystem” approach. Google/Fitbit would seem to be an ideal test case for such an approach, involving a large number of complementary markets for smartphones, smart wrist-worn wearable devices, operating systems (OS) for both types of device, apps, app stores, online advertising and the nascent digital healthcare sector. Unfortunately, the Commission passed up the

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  • Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)

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Jay Modrall, The EU conditionally clears acquisition by a big tech company of a smartwatch company active in a number of complementary markets, including app stores, online advertising, and the nascent digital healthcare sector (Google / Fitbit), 17 December 2020, e-Competitions December 2020, Art. N° 101187

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