have addressed the likely concerns, by pledging to be transparent about the data Google collects. “Strong privacy and security guidelines have been part of Fitbit’s DNA since day one, and this will not change,” according to the statement. “The company never sells personal information, and Fitbit
health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads.”
Google has a growing ecosystem of smartphones, laptops, and smart speakers, and provides a free wearable operating system called Wear OS for other companies
to use, but is yet to build its own watch. In a blog post, Google hinted that might change.
“Over the years, Google has made progress with partners in this space with Wear OS and Google Fit, but we see an opportunity to invest even more in Wear OS, as well as introduce ‘Made by Google’ wearable devices into the market,” Rick Osterloh, Google’s senior vice-president for devices and services, had stated in the blog post.
Buying Fitbit would give Google a new platform, along with access to the company’s approximate 27 million active users. Fitbit has sold above 100 million devices, and has an engaged global community of millions of active users, according to the statement.
Google could also combine the company with the smartwatch technology it bought from Fossil Group earlier this year to help it design new products.
Fitbit has been struggling to compete with Apple and others in the smartwatch market. Its shares had sunk to a low of $2.85 apiece at the end of August. The stock has recovered since news
of Google placing a bid broke, but is still far below the $20 during its 2015 initial public offering.
The transaction is expected to close next year, according to the companies.