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Photo: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Google has completed its acquisition of connected fitness device maker Fitbit, the search giant announced in a blog post Thursday.

Why it matters: Google's successful purchase of Fitbit comes as antitrust regulators around the world scrutinize large tech companies for their acquisitions, past and present.

  • EU regulators signed off on the deal last December after Google promised not to use Europeans' Fitbit data to target ads, among other commitments.

Yes, but: The Justice Department isn't done looking at it.

  • “The Antitrust Division’s investigation of Google’s acquisition of Fitbit remains ongoing," deputy attorney general for antitrust Alex Okuliar said in a statement, adding that the antitrust division continues "to investigate whether Google’s acquisition of Fitbit may harm competition and consumers in the United States."

Between the lines: Google didn't legally need affirmative approval from the DOJ to close the deal, but if the agency ultimately determines the merger would violate antitrust laws, it can still seek to force Google to unwind it.

Our thought bubble: In moving forward anyway, Google likely concluded one of three things:

  • DOJ won't raise objections.
  • Any objections won't hold up in court.
  • The company can reach a settlement with DOJ to allay any concerns.

The other side: “We complied with the DOJ’s extensive review for the past 14 months, and the agreed upon waiting period expired without their objection. We continue to be in touch with them and we’re committed to answering any additional questions," a Google spokesperson said.

What they're saying: "This deal has always been about devices, not data, and we’ve been clear since the beginning that we will protect Fitbit users’ privacy," Rick Osterloh, Google's senior vice president of devices and services, wrote in the post.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to add comment from the Justice Department and Google and context around it.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Jan 20, 2021 - Economy & Business

Momentum builds for major antitrust reform

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's outgoing antitrust chief Makan Delrahim on Tuesday endorsed a proposal from House Democrats that would put new limits on acquisitions by large companies, during comments made at a Duke University event.

Why it matters: Momentum is building for major antitrust reform, updating rules that were written for railroads instead of routers.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.