Google has agreed to buy Fitbit for $2.1 billion (Approxmately R32 billion) in a move which will allow Google entry into the wearable technology space.
With this move, Google seeks to expand beyond its core business of online search into hardware, and with Fitbit struggling against rivals including Apple.
“We have built a trusted brand that supports more than 28 million active users around the globe who rely on our products to live a healthier, more active life,” Fitbit co-founder and chief executive James Park said in a statement by the two firms announcing the deal.
“Google is an ideal partner to advance our mission. Fitbit will be able to accelerate innovation in the wearables category, scale faster, and make health even more accessible to everyone. I could not be more excited for what lies ahead.”
While Fitbit was among the first to popularize fitness bands, it has lost ground in recent years to rivals.
According to a survey conducted by research firm IDC for the second quarter of 2019, findings indiciate that Fitbit was placed fourth in a market led by China’s Xiaomi leading the global market, followed by Apple – which makes the leading smartwatch and Huawei.
Fitbit has introduced its own smartwatch in 2017 but it has failed to keep pace with the Apple Watch.
Google, which faces pressure from regulators around the world over its dominance of internet search, has been boosting its hardware offerings, including a line of Pixel smartphones and tablets, along with connected speakers.