Japan can open probe into any merger involving Fitbit - new antitrust watchdog head

TOKYO, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Japan’s antitrust watchdog can open a probe into any merger or business tie-up involving fitness tracker maker Fitbit if the size of such deals was big enough, Kazuyuki Furuya, the new chairman of the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), said on Monday. EU antitrust regulators in August launched an investigation into a $2.1 billion deal by Alphabet unit Google’s bid to buy Fitbit, a move aimed at taking on Apple and Samsung in the wearable technology market.

“If the size of any merger or business tie-up is big, we can launch an anti-monopoly investigation into the buyer’s process of acquiring a start-up (like Fitbit),” Furuya told Reuters in an interview.

“We’re closely watching developments including in Europe.” (Reporting by Leika Kihara and Takahiko Wada Editing by Chang-Ran Kim)