Google is known for making power moves when it comes to acquisitions, and they’ve just done it again. On Friday, Google announced it would acquire Fitbit at $7.35 per share in an all-cash deal totaling $2.1 billion. According to a press release from Fitbit, we can expect the deal to close in 2020 assuming US regulators are on board with the decision.
— Google (@Google) November 1, 2019
“More than 12 years ago, we set an audacious company vision – to make everyone in the world healthier. Today, I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved towards reaching that goal. 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,” said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit. “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.”
But as is the case in all things Google-related, many people are worried about their data. Google made sure to address this right out of the gate on their blog, The Keyword.
Google aspires to create tools that help people enhance their knowledge, success, health and happiness. This goal is closely aligned with Fitbit’s long-time focus on wellness and helping people live healthier, more active lives. But to get this right, privacy and security are paramount. When you use our products, you’re trusting Google with your information. We understand this is a big responsibility and we work hard to protect your information, put you in control and give you transparency about your data. Similar to our other products, with wearables, we will be transparent about the data we collect and why. We will never sell personal information to anyone. Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads. And we will give Fitbit users the choice to review, move, or delete their data.
If this promise holds true, Google will finally be able to fill a massive gap in the wearables department—as a strong contender against Apple at that. According to the IDC, Apple moved some 16.2 million wearable devices during Q4 of 2018, capturing 27.4 percent of the total wearables market. Fitbit was the fourth highest in terms of Q4 shipments. To add to that, Google already has its own wearable operating system and own a big chunk of Fossil’s smartwatch IP, so it’s probable that the Fitbit acquisition was the final piece of this puzzle.