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Google snaps up Fitbit for £1.6bn

Paul Lipscombe
November 1, 2019

Fitbit has struggled to deal with a surge of vendors attacking the wearables market in recent times

Google has today (November 1) confirmed that it has struck a deal to acquire wearables giant Fitbit for a reported $2.1 billion (£1.6bn).

Founded in 2007, Fitbit currently owns 10 per cent of the wearables market share according to IDC statistics up to the second quarter of this year.

However with more smartphone vendors entering the wearables market such as Chinese players Xiaomi and Huawei – plus established names Apple and Samsung – Fitbit has struggled in recent times.

Fitbit currently has 28 million active users globally and has sold over 100 million devices since launching, as co-founder and CEO James Park welcomes the acquisition.

In a statement, Park said: 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 deal comes after Reuters had initially reported Google’s interest in Fitbit at the start of the week, with shares growing 40 per cent since.

For Google, the deal offers an opportunity to invest more in its WearOS and “introduce made by Google wearable devices into the market” according to Google devices and services SVP Rick Osterloh.

“Fitbit has been a true pioneer in the industry and has created engaging products, experiences and a vibrant community of users. 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,” said Osterloh.

It is anticipated the deal will close in 2020.

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