Coronavirus may delay Google's Fitbit purchase

Due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Department of Justice notified companies finalizing mergers that federal reviews of the purchases may be delayed, Bloomberg reports.

In a March 17 statement, the DOJ's antitrust division requested an additional 30 days to complete its merger reviews, leaving open the possibility of further extensions if needed.

Additionally, in a statement to Bloomberg, the Federal Trade Commission said it would also seek extensions to its own antitrust investigations on an as-needed basis.

"FTC staff is fully operational but the commission will not sacrifice the scope and thoroughness of its investigations due to current limitations and timing concerns," the FTC said. "We are looking at each case individually and will seek to adjust timing as needed."

As Bloomberg notes, these updates could potentially delay the closing of so-called megamergers such as Google's Fitbit purchase and AbbVie's takeover of Allergan. The former was announced on Nov. 1, with Google paying $2.1 billion for the wearable technology company, while AbbVie announced its intent to purchase Allergan for $63 billion in late June.

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