Google Pays $2.1 Billion to Get Fit(bit)

Google Pays $2.1 Billion to Get Fit(bit)

November 21, 2019

Google last week announced a deal to acquire wearable

fitness device maker Fitbit for US$2.1 billion. The acquisition will give

Google, whose parent company is Alphabet, an immediate

leading position in the wearables market. Google will be poised to compete

against the likes of Apple and Samsung rather than having to build up

market share from scratch.Fitbit, founded in 2007, is one of the pioneers in the

activity tracker space. According to a report IDC published last year, it was the third-largest wearable company, based on

shipments, trailing Xiaomi and Apple.Fitbit's products are

carried in approximately 39,000 retail stores in more than 100

countries around the world."More than 12 years ago, we set an audacious company vision -- to make

everyone in the world healthier," said Fitbit CEO James Park."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 active life," he added. "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 transaction is expected to close in 2020. It is subject to

customary closing conditions, which will include the approval of

Fitbit's stockholders as well as regulatory approvals.

Google already has its own branded Pixel Watch, but Fitbit could

provide it with greater market share -- and more

importantly, loyal customers. Other tech firms, notably Microsoft,

have learned it is easy enough to launch a product in an established

market. However, getting customers to switch to a new platform is extremely

challenging.With 28 million users, Google will be an established player -- but will

it continue to advance Fitbit's core mission for those users?"Before the acquisition, Fitbit was clear they weren't interested in

selling to anyone not able to continue their mission of assisting

consumers in living a healthy lifestyle," said Julie Sylvester,

producer of the upcoming

CES 2020 Sports & Fitness Tech and Wearable Tech Summit."With the acquisition of Fitbit, Google is adopting technology that

will expand their expertise in the smart watch area and add

functionality to their ever-expanding wearables market," she told

TechNewsWorld."The advantage is they are going to be able to combine the Google

knowledge with the Fitbit simplicity of design," Sylvester added.This is not...


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