Google has finally made it official. The search engine giant is acquiring Fitbit for an all-cash transaction of $2.1 billion.
The fitness tracking company will become a part of Google’s hardware team, allowing them to invest more in Wear OS and introduce Google wearables in the future. Google’s hardware chief Rick Osterloh said:
By working closely with Fitbit’s team of experts, and bringing together the best AI, software and hardware, we can help spur innovation in wearables and build products to benefit even more people around the world. Google also remains committed to Wear OS and our ecosystem partners, and we plan to work closely with Fitbit to combine the best of our respective smartwatch and fitness tracker platforms.
Google says that they will be taking user privacy seriously, claiming that Fitbit’s health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads. However, there have been reports that Google will be using this data to develop health services and suggestions for users as well as a Google Coach.
The acquisition makes sense as Google has been eyeing the smartwatch market for quite a while but has struggled to gain a meaningful share. Fitbit, on the other hand, has also been struggling due to strong competition from Apple Watch and Chinese brands offering incredible value for money in their smart wearables. This deal will not only let Google tap into the vast user base of Fitbit but will also provide Fitbit with a much stronger foundation to work with.
The deal is pending approval from regulators and some Fitbit shareholders. It is expected to close next year for a sum of $2.1 billion in cash.