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Google is killing third-party Fitbit apps and watch faces in the EU


Google has announced it will end third-party Fitbit app and watch face support in the EU by June 2024 in response to new regulations.
While not attributed directly to the EU’s Digital Markets Act in the announcement, it’s possible the DMA had some impact on this decision.
Non-compliance with DMA can lead to hefty fines of up to 20% of global turnover for companies like Google, impacting industry practices.

Despite just going into full effect, the Digital Markets Act (DMA) has been in the works in the European Union for quite some time. Legislators crafted the regulations to maintain competition between dominating tech companies, including Google, Apple, and Meta. As it adjusts to doing business around these and other new ground rules, Google has made changes that will impact Fitbit devices.


Here’s how Google will comply with the DMA as it goes into effect

The EU is forcing Google to unlink its services if you want it to

On a support page in the Fitbit Help Center, Google has announced that third-party Fitbit app and watch face support will end in June 2024 (via 9to5Google). While the company didn’t directly cite the DMA as the reasoning behind its decision, it did mention “regulatory requirements.” In terms of the devices that the change will be directly impacting, Google identified the Fitbit Sense (original), Fitbit Sense 2, Fitbit Versa (original), Fitbit Versa 2, Fitbit Versa 3, Fitbit Versa 4, and Fitbit Ionic.

Google is not the only company facing new EU regulations

Since the inception of the DMA, tech companies have had about six months to fully comply with the regulations prior to them going into effect in the EU. The European Commission identified Alphabet, Meta, ByteDance, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft as “gatekeepers.” According to the language of the DMA, this means that they provide a gateway between companies and consumers in terms of access to core platform services. The DMA was developed as a means of preventing gatekeepers from reducing competition through the preferential treatment of their own products.

Companies that do not comply with all aspects of the DMA in the EU are subject to specific penalties. For example, they can be fined up to 10% of their global turnover to start, but this can rise to 20% if adjustments are not made. Additionally, there is an abundance of fine print embedded within the DMA to further protect consumers. For instance, companies can no longer build customer behavior profiles for their advertisers. As industry leaders refine their practices, it could take some time for everything to be ironed out. In the process, changes like Google’s recent Fitbit decision should be expected.

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