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Google acquires Fitbit for $2.1 billion

A recent Reuters report suggested that Google was planning to acquire Fitbit. The search engine’s parent company Alphabet had made an undisclosed offer to the fitness wearables manufacturer. Now, Google has officially announced that it is buying Fitbit for $2.1 billion. Google made the announcement in a blog post with the company’s SVP of devices and services Rick Osterloh saying that the Fitbit purchase is  “an opportunity to invest even more in Wear OS as well as introduce Made by Google wearable devices into the market.”

Under the acquisition, Fitbit will join Google instead of Alphabet. The deal will expand Google’s portfolio which already includes smartphones, headphones, smart speakers, and laptops. Google currently relies on third-party companies such as Fossil and LG to produce Android-compatible watches running on its Wear OS. It also offers a fitness tracking app called Google Fit. Google has struggled to compete against Apple’s Watch series, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active and others in the wearables segment. Fitbit wearables come with good hardware and design. The brand has years of focus on the wearables category, but the company had growth issues in recent years. Google’s software and developer support could make Fitbit’s wearables more smarter. 

Fitbit has stressed that consumer privacy is still important. In a blog post, the company stated that it would not sell customer’s personal data and wellness data would not be used for Google ads.

Fitbit co-founder and CEO, James Park, said: “Google is an ideal partner to advance our mission. With Google’s resources and global platform, Fitbit will be able to accelerate innovation in the wearables category, scale faster, and make health even more accessible to everyone. I could not be more excited for what lies ahead.”

The acquisition is set to complete in 2020 and Fitbit could become Google Fitbit just like the Nest brand became Google Nest. Google purchasing Fitbit could prove beneficial to both parties, but at the moment there is no word how the deal will impact either company. 

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