14 months after it announced that it would acquire Fitbit for $2.1 billion, Google announced today that it has finally finalized the deal.
“Google has completed its acquisition of Fitbit and I want to personally welcome this talented team to Google,” Google senior vice president Rick Osterloh announced. “A clear pioneer in the industry, Fitbit built a vibrant community of more than 29 million active users by creating amazing wearable devices and immersive wellness experiences.”
In a rebuke to the many antitrust investigations that delayed this acquisition, Osterloh said that acquiring Fitbit was always about the devices, and not user data. “we’ve been clear since the beginning that we will protect Fitbit users’ privacy,” he notes, adding that Google worked with global regulators on an approach that will safeguard consumers’ privacy expectations. Among them is that Google will not use Fitbit users’ health and wellness data for ads and that this data will be separated from Google ads data.
“We’ll also maintain access to Android APIs that enable devices like fitness trackers and smartwatches to interoperate with Android smartphones, and we’ll continue to allow Fitbit users to choose to connect to third-party services so you’ll still be able to sync your favorite health and fitness apps to your Fitbit account,” he says. “These commitments will be implemented globally so that all consumers can benefit from them. We’ll also continue to work with regulators around the world so that they can be assured that we are living up to these commitments.”
In a separate letter, Fitbit CEO James Park adds that the Google acquisition will help his company “innovate faster, provide more choices, and make even better products to support your health and wellness needs.” But the core values of Fitbit, and its compatibility on the competing Apple iOS platform, will remain unchanged. “Google is an ideal partner for Fitbit who will continue to put our users first and help further our mission to make everyone in the world healthier,” he says.