Is Google About To Acquire Fitbit?

EnterpriseInnovationMerger and acquisitionWearable Tech

Shares in Fitbit have been suspended amid reports that Google had made an offer to acquire the firm

Google has reportedly made an offer to acquire fitness device maker Fitbit, which has resulted in its shares being suspended until an official announcement is made.

According to Reuters, which cited unnamed sources, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential, Google is eyeing a move into the crowded market for fitness trackers and smartwatches.

It comes after Google recently launched its new flagship smartphones, namely the the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, which features a Soli radar chip to enable more secure, faster facial recognition, as well as gesture controls.

Fitbit bid?

But while Google has smartphones to challenge the likes of Samsung and Apple, it does not have a wearable presence.

Reuters reported that there is no certainty that the negotiations between Google and Fitbit will lead to any deal. It could not discover what price Google has reportedly offered for Fitbit.

Both Google and Fitbit declined to comment on the Reuters report.

However shares in Fitbit rose 27 percent on the news (before they were suspended), giving the company a market capitalisation of $1.4 billion.

Google acquiring Fitbit would provide the Alphabet unit an instant and sizeable presence in the fitness tracking sector, despite growing competition from devices from the likes of Huawei Technologies and Xiaomi.

Fitbit has made its name in making watches and trackers and monitor people’s daily steps, calories burned and distance travelled. Some devices also measure sleep duration and quality and heart rate.

fitbit surge

Wearable move?

Google has a mixed reputation when it comes to the wearable market, and has not been afraid of shutting down projects it no longer feels have a future.

Earlier this month for example Google called time on its Daydream virtual reality (VR) platform, after executives confirmed that the new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL does not support the VR platform.

But perhaps Google’s most noteworthy wearable move was its Google Glass project, which despite being well received by many organisations, was cancelled in 2015 (although that project limped on for a year or so under the guise of “Project Aura”).

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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