Google Completes Fitbit Acquisition

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.

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Conversation 10 comments

  • bservies

    14 January, 2021 - 3:12 pm

    <p>Was Fitbit profitable? Because this sure feels like something they will quickly get bored with and discontinue otherwise. </p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      15 January, 2021 - 10:21 am

      Fitbit is not profitable, no.

  • shawnthebeachy

    14 January, 2021 - 3:33 pm

    <p>In related news, I complete my Fitbit ditch-quisition.</p><p><br></p><p>In all seriousness, they can say whatever they want. It's Google. I don't trust them in the least. But then again, who wouldn't want them in charge of Fitbit when Android Wear has been such a rousing success?</p>

    • mikegalos

      14 January, 2021 - 9:16 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#607539">In reply to shawnthebeachy:</a></em></blockquote><p>Exactly. The Google acquisition was the reason I shut down all of our Fitbit products and downloaded and had them delete all our data once it was approved. I don't trust my health data to any company that makes the vast majority of their profit on selling user data to their customers and Google in particular has a very bad history of abusing that market model.</p>

      • chaoticwhizz

        14 January, 2021 - 10:52 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#607602">In reply to MikeGalos:</a></em></blockquote><p>Can you name a recent example of Google abusing customer's data? I'm not sure what you mean.</p>

        • Paul Thurrott

          Premium Member
          15 January, 2021 - 10:06 am

          What are you talking about? That happens all day long every single day. It is literally Google’s business model: Track your activities on the web and in mobile apps, tie it to location data and other personal information obtained from your device or PC, and then sell that information to advertisers so they can target you better. Do you seriously not know that?

  • cwfinn

    Premium Member
    14 January, 2021 - 4:03 pm

    <p>RIP Fitbit</p>

  • cayo

    14 January, 2021 - 5:24 pm

    <p>Good timing, kids received Apple watches under the tree for Christmas. We continue to be a Google-free family.</p>

    • PanamaVet

      19 January, 2021 - 3:28 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#607570">In reply to cayo:</a></em></blockquote><p>I turned off my Fitbit Ionic Dec 25th when my wife gave me an Apple watch. I taped the unlock code to it, killed my account and haven't looked back.</p><p><br></p><p>I hope the Fitbit employees can get jobs at Apple.</p><p><br></p>

  • rmlounsbury

    Premium Member
    15 January, 2021 - 12:28 pm

    <p>My hope here is that Google can final make a viable smartwatch product and get Wear OS out of the dumpster fire it's been stuck in forever. It has been thoroughly annoying that Apple is the only company that seems to be able to figure out smartwatch hardware and software. Of course, Apple's offering comes with the caveat that they obscure most health data with pointless rings and no web, desktop, or even iPad app to dive deeper into your health data. It, at least on a whole, is a well rounded offering. </p><p><br></p><p>In the Android world you have a smattering of options and none of them ever seem fully up to the task. Fitbit has been the best overall offering but it feels somewhat incomplete by not having things like Google Pay or access to the broad Google Play app eco-system (this will be corrected with the Google acquisition I presume). What really bugs me is that Fitbit is starting to some of the platform to their new subscription offering which is thoroughly annoying. </p><p><br></p><p>If this means we get a quality Wear OS platform that all smartwatch makers can utilize we might finally have a proper smartwatch ecosystem on Android that can rival Apple Watch for overall experience. </p>


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