Google is acquiring Fitbit, the maker of wristwatch-like fitness-tracking devices, for $2.1 billion as the world’s largest tech companies expand further into a very crowded field of wearable fitness technology.
The deal represents an aggressive attempt by Google to bolster its lineup of hardware products, which already includes smartphones, tablets, laptops and smart speakers. Fitbit makes a lineup of fitness-tracking devices but has faced stiff competition from other device makers, including Apple after the introduction of the Apple Watch.
The deal is expected to close next year but is likely to face scrutiny from government regulators. Google has been the subject of antitrust investigations in Europe and the United States.
In a statement Friday, Fitbit said Google was paying $7.35 per share in cash, or about $2.1 billion.
James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit, said the Fitbit brand has grown to more than 28 million active users around the globe.
“Google is an ideal partner to advance our mission," said Park, who was quoted in BusinessWire. "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.”
Google's move for Fitbit comes after Google announced a deal in January to buy $40 million of Fossil’s smartwatch technology. Fossil is one of the bigger brands building smartwatches on Google’s Wear OS operating system, which Google licenses to companies but does not make its own smartwatch.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.