credit: Scott Brown / Android Authority
- The long-running Google Fitbit deal is now complete.
- In announcing the news, Google confirmed that the deal was about “devices, not data.”
- The Fitbit CEO also confirmed that user data will not be used for Google ad revenue, and assured users that many of the things they know and love will remain the same.
Update January 14, 2021 (12:43 PM ET): The news below makes it look like the Google / Fitbit deal is locked out. Even so, the US Department of Justice investigation into the acquisition is still ongoing. This raises doubts about whether the deal will continue without further problems.
The Ministry of Justice has given the following statement to a few publications (h / t Android Police):
The Antitrust Department’s investigation of Google’s acquisition of Fitbit is ongoing. Although the department has not reached a final decision on whether or not an enforcement action should be pursued, the department continues to investigate whether Google’s acquisition of Fitbit could harm competition and consumers in the US. The Division remains committed to conducting this review as accurately, effectively and expeditiously as possible.
However, the time limit for a decision with this ongoing investigation appears to have passed. According to the Fitbit statement sent to Android AuthorityThe company felt comfortable moving forward with today’s announcement regardless of formalizing the Department of Justice’s decision on the purchase. Here’s the Fitbit statement:
We have committed to a comprehensive review of the Ministry of Justice over the past 14 months, and the agreed waiting period ended without their objection. We continue to communicate with them and are committed to answering any additional questions. We are confident that this transaction will increase competition in the extremely crowded wearable device market, and have made commitments that we plan to implement globally.
This basically boils down to the Ministry of Justice agreeing to a time limit to submit a decision on the antitrust investigation into this transaction. Google confirms that this date has since passed, giving the company the authority to proceed with the purchase. However, the Justice Department says it is still investigating. This is something the attorney needs to consider, but it appears that this transaction did not go exactly as Google and Fitbit say.
Original article, Jan 14, 2021 (09:26 AM ET): Today, both Google and Fitbit officially announced the first acquisition of the latter. This deal has been in the works for over a year now. It positions Fitbit as Google but is independent to operate. This is not unlike the way Nest was for several years after its acquisition in 2014.
Rick Austerloh Binh Google announced the deal. In his letter, he emphasized that “user health and wellness data will not be used in Google ads.” He also explained that this is a file A binding obligation To get the deal done, which means it’s not an empty promise.
Likewise, Fitbit CEO and co-founder James Park He coined a similar speech Detail the deal. In his statement, he used exactly the same Osterloh language to assure users that Google would not use people’s health data for financial gain.
Google Fitbit Deal: What Could It Mean?
Austerloh said in his letter that this deal is about “devices, not data”. This is perhaps the most important statement surrounding this acquisition. He strongly indicates that Google is looking to Fitbit to advance the ambitions of the wearable more than anything else.
The wearable market has never seen a Google branded device, although the market has boomed. There have always been rumors about the so-called Pixel Watch, but they never materialized. With th Stagnant OS wear platform, This Google Fitbit deal is an easy solution to the wearable’s big G problem: no hardware.
Fitbit has already brought Google Assistant to its two biggest launches of 2020: Fitbit Sense And the Fitbit Versa 3. Going forward, we can expect Assistant and other Google products to appear on Fitbit devices.
Park explained in his post that “many of the things you know and love about Fitbit will remain the same.” However, it is only a matter of time before Fitbit becomes more and more Google. We’ll need to wait and see how this ends.