Google will buy smartwatch company Fitbit for US$2.1 billion.
Google will pay US$7.35 per share in cash in a deal that is expected to close next year, pending regulatory and shareholder approvals, according to a statement released by Fitbit today.
News broke earlier this week that a possible deal was in the offing as Google looks to make a play for the competitive wearable technology market.
“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,” said James Park, Fitbit co-founder and CEO.
Fitbit has more than 12 million active users across the world having entered the market some 12 years.
Responding to what is certain to be privacy concerns among consumers, the statement included this commitment to transparency with the buy-out. “Consumer trust is paramount to Fitbit. Strong privacy and security guidelines have been part of Fitbit’s DNA since day one, and this will not change. Fitbit will continue to put users in control of their data and will remain transparent about the data it collects and why,” adding that “the company never sells personal information, and Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads.”
Fitbit, which will remain accessible on Android and iOS platforms, has sold more than 100 million devices since inception.
“Fitbit has been a true pioneer in the industry and has created terrific products, experiences and a vibrant community of users,” said Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President, Devices & Services at Google. “We’re looking forward to working with the incredible talent at Fitbit, and bringing together the best hardware, software and AI (artificial intelligence), to build wearables to help even more people around the world.”
It remains to be seen how Google plans link its newest purchase to its earlier acquisition of smartwatch technology from Fossil earlier this year, along with its existing Wear OS platform for wearable technology.