The Google New Deal
Google doesn't just want a place in your home. It reportedly fought off Facebook to earn a spot on your wrist.
On Friday, after a week of rumors, Google announced it will be acquiring Fitbit, the wearable fitness trackers, for $2.1 billion. This latest move comes after Google's $40 million purchase of Fossil's smartwatch technology in January, reports CNBC, and shows the tech giant's "aggressive attempt" to up their game in the wearables race, The New York Times observes.
Facebook has also been expanding its hardware portfolio with "Oculus virtual headsets, Portal smart speakers and planned AR glasses," and their interest in health tracking goes back to 2014, when the social network acquired a fitness app called Moves, The Verge notes. So it may not be surprising that Facebook purportedly held talks to buy the smartwatch pioneer — but ultimately, Facebook lost the deal to Google, who offered twice as much, reports The Information.
Google's presence in the wearables market is limited to Wear OS, which failed to sway Apple Watch users, CNET notes. And while Fitbit was the closest competitor to Apple Watch — which owns about half of the global wearables market — Fitbit has been struggling this year, reporting sinking sales in its July earnings, the Times reports.
"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," Fitbit co-founder and CEO James Park told CNN Business. As a reality check for the celebrating tech companies, Wired predicts that the acquisition "will attract the attention of antitrust regulators" before the deal is finalized in 2020.