After a lot of speculations, rumours, and reports, Fitbit is now a part of Google. As per the official news, the search engine giant Google has acquired Fitbit for $2.1 billion (approx €1.8 billion). This deal puts Google in direct competition with Apple and Samsung in the highly competitive wearable market.
The transaction is expected to close in 2020, subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by Fitbit’s stockholders and regulatory approvals.
James Park, co-founder, and CEO of Fitbit: said:
More than 12 years ago, we set an audacious company vision – to make everyone in the world healthier. Today, I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved towards reaching that goal. We have built a trusted brand that supports more than 28 million active users around the globe who rely on our products to live a healthier, more productive life.
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.
Pixel wearable on cards?
As we all know, Google has made progress with partners in this space with Wear OS, but with this deal, the company sees an opportunity to invest in Wear OS as well as introduce Made by Google wearable devices into the market.
Many hoped for Pixel Watch, but there were no signs from the recent hardware unveiling event. Back in January, Google bought the intellectual property from watchmaker Fossil for $40 million as well.
This deal gives Google the much-needed foundation to build on for future Android-integrated wearables devices. On the other hand, Fitbit can make use of Google’s software skills and developer to help the company’s device get a little smarter as well.
Fitbit pioneered the wearables category by delivering innovative, affordable, and engaging devices and services. The device is designed to help users understand and change their behaviour to improve their health.
The company has sold more than 100 million devices and supports an engaged global community of millions of active users, utilizing data to deliver unique personalized guidance and coaching to its users.
Raises privacy concerns
The latest acquisition from Google has raised concerns about data privacy for Fitbit users. This deal will give Google a massive amount of valuable health and activity data from Fitbit’s more than 28 million users.
However, the Fitbit in its press release assured that they never sell personal information, and Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads.
“Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads. And we will give Fitbit users the choice to review, move, or delete their data.”
Saying that both companies have given themselves a year to gain antitrust clearances, which can be extended up to May 2021. If in case the deal fails, Google will pay Fitbit around $250 million due to antitrust issues.
In this deal, Qatalyst Partners LLP acted as financial advisor to Fitbit, and Fenwick & West LLP acted as legal advisor.
Main image credit: Fitbit
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