Democratic senators call for 'thorough and comprehensive' review of Google's Fitbit acquisition

Democratic senators call for 'thorough and comprehensive' review of Google's Fitbit acquisition
© Greg Nash

A group of Democratic senators urged the Department of Justice Thursday to conduct a "thorough and comprehensive" review of Google's proposed acquisition of Fitbit.

Google's purchase of the fitness tracking company immediately came under antitrust scrutiny when announced in November.

The Justice Department launched an investigation at the time and has issued a second request for information on the merger.

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A letter, led by Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Senate Democrats push to include free phone calls for incarcerated people in next relief package Lobbying world MORE (D-Minn.), urges the agency to continue its efforts, warning that allowing Google free range on acquisitions may give it enduring dominance across several markets.

"Over the years, Google has completed more than 100 strategic acquisitions—including purchases of DoubleClick, AdMob, YouTube, Waze, and many other firms—virtually all without significant enforcement action by federal antitrust enforcers," the senators wrote to Attorney General William BarrBill BarrWillie Brown: Kamala Harris should 'politely decline' any offer to be Biden's running mate Barr: The left 'believes in tearing down the system' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Negotiators signal relief bill stuck, not dead MORE.

"We are deeply troubled by the possibility that past reluctance to address potential threats to competition in their incipiency though aggressive merger enforcement may have contributed to current concerns about potential anticompetitive conduct by Google in these markets, resulting in the antitrust scrutiny that the company is attracting from federal, state, and international enforcers today."

Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenators ask for removal of tariffs on EU food, wine, spirits: report Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Senate Democrats push to include free phone calls for incarcerated people in next relief package MORE (D-N.J.), Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Overnight Defense: Guardsman to testify Lafayette Square clearing was 'unprovoked escalation' | Dems push for controversial Pentagon nominee to withdraw | Watchdog says Pentagon not considering climate change risks to contractors Democrats urge controversial Pentagon policy nominee to withdraw MORE (D-Hawaii), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownWhat Trump's orders will and won't do for payroll taxes, unemployment benefits Overnight Defense: Guardsman to testify Lafayette Square clearing was 'unprovoked escalation' | Dems push for controversial Pentagon nominee to withdraw | Watchdog says Pentagon not considering climate change risks to contractors Democrats urge controversial Pentagon policy nominee to withdraw MORE (D-Ohio), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerThe Hill's Campaign Report: US officials say Russia, China are looking to sow discord in election US intelligence says Russia seeking to 'denigrate' Biden GOP chairmen hit back at accusation they are spreading disinformation with Biden probe MORE (D-Va.), and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Health Care: Nearly 100,000 children tested positive for coronavirus over two weeks last month | Democrats deny outreach to Trump since talks collapsed | California public health chief quits suddenly On The Money: Administration defends Trump executive orders | CBO reports skyrocketing deficit | Government pauses Kodak loan pending review Harris favored as Biden edges closer to VP pick MORE (D-Mass.) also signed the letter.

The letter encouraging a close review of the merger comes as the deal is receiving increasing scrutiny from antitrust regulators elsewhere.

European Union regulators have reportedly reached out Google and Fitbit's rivals for info on how the merger might affect the digital healthcare market.

Australia's Competition and Consumer Commission also raised concerns about the deal last month.