Google has acquired fitness device developer Fitbit in a deal worth $2.1 billion (£1.6bn), pending the green light from regulators.
Speculation over the deal mounted earlier this week when Reuters first reported interest from Google. This led the firm’s shares to jump 40% from Monday to Friday.
The acquisition is expected to be completed next year, pending regulatory approval, and marks a significant move for Google into the fitness and wellbeing market.
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Fitbit was one of the first companies to launch fitness tracker devices and has sold more than 100 million devices since its inception in 2007.
From popular products such as the Fitbit Charge 3 and Fitbit Ace 2 activity trackers to its family of smartwatches and smart scales, the firm commands an active user base of 28 million globally.
Commenting on the acquisition, Fitbit co-founder and CEO, James 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.”
Rick Osterloh, senior VP, devices & services at Google, added: “Fitbit has been a true pioneer in the industry and has created terrific products, experiences and a vibrant community of users.
“We’re looking forward to working with the incredible talent at Fitbit, and bringing together the best hardware, software and AI, to build wearables to help even more people around the world.”
Crucially, the deal will see Google gain access to health data currently held by Fitbit as it seeks to move deeper into the health and wearables markets.
Fitbit sought to address potential concerns over health data, stating: “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.”
The company also insisted that it “never sells personal information” and that health and wellness data will not be used by Google to curate targeted advertising.