Google wraps up $2 billion Fitbit acquisition

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2021
After more than a year of fighting for regulatory approval, Google has concluded its $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit, and is promising to silo Fitbit data away from Google's ad business.

Certain Fitbit devices have companion iOS apps
Certain Fitbit devices have companion iOS apps


The completion of the deal was announced by Google's Rick Osterloh in a post on Thursday morning. The post noted that Fitbit users' privacy will be maintained -- and those promises may have been part of the long approval time.

"This deal has always been about devices, not data," wrote Osterloh. "We've been clear since the beginning that we will protect Fitbit users' privacy. We worked with global regulators on an approach which safeguards consumers' privacy expectations, including a series of binding commitments that confirm Fitbit users' health and wellness data won't be used for Google ads and this data will be separated from other Google ads data."

Osterloh also says that it will maintain access to Android APIs for interoperability with the ecosystem. Additionally, third-party service access will also be continued, globally.

Google first announced the deal on November 1, 2019. Google's offer was for $7.35 per share in cash. The deal was expected to close following regulatory approval in 2020, but the expected close was extended several times, as the company was slow in getting international regulator approval.

"Fitbit has been a true pioneer in the industry and has created engaging products, experiences and a vibrant community of users," Osterloh said in a statement at the time. "By working closely with Fitbit's team of experts, and bringing together the best AI, software and hardware, we can help spur innovation in wearables and build products to benefit even more people around the world.

Multiple analysts say that Fitbit's value has more to do with user data collection, than with hardware. Even after the acquisition announcement, Fitbit made deals with insurance companies to bundle the product in with customer health offerings. It continues to try to expand its revenue in a crowded low-end fitness tracking market, increasingly squeezed by the Apple Watch.

Over time, Fitbit has tried to focus on cheaper products versus the Apple Watch. In 2015, the Fitbit Surge added more features like GPS to try to fight the Apple Watch, with some success. Similarly, in 2017, Apple continued to widen the wearable technology gap with a more flexible system versus the Fitbit Ionic.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    roakeroake Posts: 816member
    “[Google] is promising to silo Fitbit data away from Google's ad business.”

    Here is a chance for FitBit users to become the product.

    Didn’t Google also promise that Nest would remain completely independent?  Until later, of course, when they announced they were no longer going to honor that promise?

    It seems that all these mega companies have to do is promise the regulatory panels that they will do such and such, then completely ignore said promise after the acquisition has been approved.
    edited January 2021 elijahgGG1razorpitgeorge kaplanmagman1979MacProwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 25
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,285member
    roake said:
    “[Google] is promising to silo Fitbit data away from Google's ad business.”

    Here is a chance for FitBit users to become the product.

    Didn’t Google also promise that Nest would remain completely independent?  Until later, of course, when they announced they were no longer going to honor that promise?

    It seems that all these mega companies have to do is promise the regulatory panels that they will do such and such, then completely ignore said promise after the acquisition has been approved.
    This will be a tough one for Google to renege on since it's under a formal agreement with the EU as I understand it. 
    edited January 2021 GG1
  • Reply 3 of 25
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,774member
    gatorguy said:
    roake said:
    “[Google] is promising to silo Fitbit data away from Google's ad business.”

    Here is a chance for FitBit users to become the product.

    Didn’t Google also promise that Nest would remain completely independent?  Until later, of course, when they announced they were no longer going to honor that promise?

    It seems that all these mega companies have to do is promise the regulatory panels that they will do such and such, then completely ignore said promise after the acquisition has been approved.
    This will be a tough one for Google to renege on since it's under a formal agreement with the EU as I understand it.
    There'll just be "accidental" data sharing à la their "accidental" street view password collecting.
    razorpitmagman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 25
    M68000M68000 Posts: 765member
    Is it me or is it getting to the point where a few big companies are just able to buy whatever they want and are just basically taking over everything?    I don’t remember it being this bad 20 years ago.
    razorpitmagman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 25
    riverkoriverko Posts: 224member
    Quite curious about Google Pay vs FitBit Pay - if they merge it or not. For google wearables the support is for limited countries only... 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 25
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 1,034member
    M68000 said:
    Is it me or is it getting to the point where a few big companies are just able to buy whatever they want and are just basically taking over everything?    I don’t remember it being this bad 20 years ago.
    Well money talks. If you came up with some tech and some other tech giant offers you $2B would you say no?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 25
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,285member
    elijahg said:
    gatorguy said:
    roake said:
    “[Google] is promising to silo Fitbit data away from Google's ad business.”

    Here is a chance for FitBit users to become the product.

    Didn’t Google also promise that Nest would remain completely independent?  Until later, of course, when they announced they were no longer going to honor that promise?

    It seems that all these mega companies have to do is promise the regulatory panels that they will do such and such, then completely ignore said promise after the acquisition has been approved.
    This will be a tough one for Google to renege on since it's under a formal agreement with the EU as I understand it.
    There'll just be "accidental" data sharing à la their "accidental" street view password collecting.
    LOL. The "bad Google" moment over a decade ago? 
  • Reply 8 of 25
    JinTech said:
    M68000 said:
    Is it me or is it getting to the point where a few big companies are just able to buy whatever they want and are just basically taking over everything?    I don’t remember it being this bad 20 years ago.
    Well money talks. If you came up with some tech and some other tech giant offers you $2B would you say no?
    Of course NO I wouldn’t.....$ talks and BS follows (best business)
  • Reply 9 of 25
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,774member
    gatorguy said:
    elijahg said:
    gatorguy said:
    roake said:
    “[Google] is promising to silo Fitbit data away from Google's ad business.”

    Here is a chance for FitBit users to become the product.

    Didn’t Google also promise that Nest would remain completely independent?  Until later, of course, when they announced they were no longer going to honor that promise?

    It seems that all these mega companies have to do is promise the regulatory panels that they will do such and such, then completely ignore said promise after the acquisition has been approved.
    This will be a tough one for Google to renege on since it's under a formal agreement with the EU as I understand it.
    There'll just be "accidental" data sharing à la their "accidental" street view password collecting.
    LOL. The "bad Google" moment over a decade ago? 
    Privacy issues with Nest, Gmail, Search, Street View, NSA, government requests, ad-tracking have all had extra data sharing than that which users originally agreed with. Everyone knows you're a Google shill, your opinion on Google related matters is pretty worthless.
    edited January 2021 rotateleftbyteRayz2016magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 25
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,737member
    gatorguy said:
    roake said:
    “[Google] is promising to silo Fitbit data away from Google's ad business.”

    Here is a chance for FitBit users to become the product.

    Didn’t Google also promise that Nest would remain completely independent?  Until later, of course, when they announced they were no longer going to honor that promise?

    It seems that all these mega companies have to do is promise the regulatory panels that they will do such and such, then completely ignore said promise after the acquisition has been approved.
    This will be a tough one for Google to renege on since it's under a formal agreement with the EU as I understand it. 
    If they managed to find enough loopholes in the Sun/Oracle Java licensing agreement to clone and own Java without repercussions, I'm sure they'll have no problem doing the same with this agreement.
    edited January 2021 elijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 25
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,737member

    gatorguy said:
    elijahg said:
    gatorguy said:
    roake said:
    “[Google] is promising to silo Fitbit data away from Google's ad business.”

    Here is a chance for FitBit users to become the product.

    Didn’t Google also promise that Nest would remain completely independent?  Until later, of course, when they announced they were no longer going to honor that promise?

    It seems that all these mega companies have to do is promise the regulatory panels that they will do such and such, then completely ignore said promise after the acquisition has been approved.
    This will be a tough one for Google to renege on since it's under a formal agreement with the EU as I understand it.
    There'll just be "accidental" data sharing à la their "accidental" street view password collecting.
    LOL. The "bad Google" moment over a decade ago? 
    LOL.  It's like listening to T**** supporters keep moving the goalposts to defend their arguments.  Corporate culture is real and doesn't change easily.
    elijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 25
    If anyone thinks that Google is NOT going to [cough] [cough] get hold of the Fitbit data then just ask yourself what other reason would they (google) have for buying Fitbit? It sure ain't out the goodness of their hearts.
    Just look at the great gobs of data that Facaebook sucks out of WhatsApp? Will this be any different? I really doubt it mind you, I don't have a fitbit or appl watch and I avoid google unless there is no other way.

    Yet, for some people, Google is the great shining star and can do no wrong. Strange place the world is in at the moment.
    magman1979elijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 25
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,796member
    auxio said:

    gatorguy said:
    elijahg said:
    gatorguy said:
    roake said:
    “[Google] is promising to silo Fitbit data away from Google's ad business.”

    Here is a chance for FitBit users to become the product.

    Didn’t Google also promise that Nest would remain completely independent?  Until later, of course, when they announced they were no longer going to honor that promise?

    It seems that all these mega companies have to do is promise the regulatory panels that they will do such and such, then completely ignore said promise after the acquisition has been approved.
    This will be a tough one for Google to renege on since it's under a formal agreement with the EU as I understand it.
    There'll just be "accidental" data sharing à la their "accidental" street view password collecting.
    LOL. The "bad Google" moment over a decade ago? 
    LOL.  It's like listening to T**** supporters keep moving the goalposts to defend their arguments.  Corporate culture is real and doesn't change easily.
    Biden begins with a B, but yes, other than that you are correct.
    mobirdelijahg
  • Reply 14 of 25
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    gatorguy said:
    elijahg said:
    gatorguy said:
    roake said:
    “[Google] is promising to silo Fitbit data away from Google's ad business.”

    Here is a chance for FitBit users to become the product.

    Didn’t Google also promise that Nest would remain completely independent?  Until later, of course, when they announced they were no longer going to honor that promise?

    It seems that all these mega companies have to do is promise the regulatory panels that they will do such and such, then completely ignore said promise after the acquisition has been approved.
    This will be a tough one for Google to renege on since it's under a formal agreement with the EU as I understand it.
    There'll just be "accidental" data sharing à la their "accidental" street view password collecting.
    LOL. The "bad Google" moment over a decade ago? 
    Time to “heal” and “move on”.

    🙄
    elijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 25
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,099member
    Google bought Fitbit? I see a whole lot of wrong with this.
    magman1979elijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 25
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,285member
    auxio said:
    gatorguy said:
    roake said:
    “[Google] is promising to silo Fitbit data away from Google's ad business.”

    Here is a chance for FitBit users to become the product.

    Didn’t Google also promise that Nest would remain completely independent?  Until later, of course, when they announced they were no longer going to honor that promise?

    It seems that all these mega companies have to do is promise the regulatory panels that they will do such and such, then completely ignore said promise after the acquisition has been approved.
    This will be a tough one for Google to renege on since it's under a formal agreement with the EU as I understand it. 
    If they managed to find enough loopholes in the Sun/Oracle Java licensing agreement to clone and own Java without repercussions, I'm sure they'll have no problem doing the same with this agreement.
    Off-topic, but there was no "agreement" that Google broke with Sun in order to use Java. 

     On-topic now,  I'm actually surprised the EU approved this after the comments they were making early on. 
    edited January 2021
  • Reply 17 of 25
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,285member
    If anyone thinks that Google is NOT going to [cough] [cough] get hold of the Fitbit data then just ask yourself what other reason would they (google) have for buying Fitbit?
    Quote:

    "This deal has always been about devices, not data, and we’ve been clear since the beginning that we will protect Fitbit users’ privacy. We worked with global regulators on an approach which safeguards consumers’ privacy expectations, including a series of 
    binding commitments that confirm Fitbit users’ health and wellness data won’t be used for Google ads and this data will be separated from other Google ads data."
  • Reply 18 of 25
    M68000 said:
    Is it me or is it getting to the point where a few big companies are just able to buy whatever they want and are just basically taking over everything?    I don’t remember it being this bad 20 years ago.
    No, you’re correct. And I don’t think eventually  it will be Wall-Mart buying out Weyland-Yutani...


    magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 25
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,737member
    gatorguy said:
    auxio said:
    gatorguy said:
    roake said:
    “[Google] is promising to silo Fitbit data away from Google's ad business.”

    Here is a chance for FitBit users to become the product.

    Didn’t Google also promise that Nest would remain completely independent?  Until later, of course, when they announced they were no longer going to honor that promise?

    It seems that all these mega companies have to do is promise the regulatory panels that they will do such and such, then completely ignore said promise after the acquisition has been approved.
    This will be a tough one for Google to renege on since it's under a formal agreement with the EU as I understand it. 
    If they managed to find enough loopholes in the Sun/Oracle Java licensing agreement to clone and own Java without repercussions, I'm sure they'll have no problem doing the same with this agreement.
    Off-topic, but there was no "agreement" that Google broke with Sun in order to use Java. 
    Sure there was.  If you wanted to bundle Java on your devices (and get the benefits of the years of work Sun put into building the Java developer community), you had to pay a per-device licensing fee.  That was the licensing agreement Sun had with many other device manufacturers at the time.  Google didn't want to pay that fee for Android devices, and so they found a way to weasel around the license by cloning Java using open source technologies and a questionably legal JVM (Dalvik).  Sun had a special Java license for the open source community, which didn't apply to Google's situation, but they found a way to take advantage of it anyway.
    elijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 25
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,285member
    auxio said:
    gatorguy said:
    auxio said:
    gatorguy said:
    roake said:
    “[Google] is promising to silo Fitbit data away from Google's ad business.”

    Here is a chance for FitBit users to become the product.

    Didn’t Google also promise that Nest would remain completely independent?  Until later, of course, when they announced they were no longer going to honor that promise?

    It seems that all these mega companies have to do is promise the regulatory panels that they will do such and such, then completely ignore said promise after the acquisition has been approved.
    This will be a tough one for Google to renege on since it's under a formal agreement with the EU as I understand it. 
    If they managed to find enough loopholes in the Sun/Oracle Java licensing agreement to clone and own Java without repercussions, I'm sure they'll have no problem doing the same with this agreement.
    Off-topic, but there was no "agreement" that Google broke with Sun in order to use Java. 
    Sure there was.  If you wanted to bundle Java on your devices (and get the benefits of the years of work Sun put into building the Java developer community), you had to pay a per-device licensing fee.  That was the licensing agreement Sun had with many other device manufacturers at the time.  Google didn't want to pay that fee for Android devices, and so they found a way to weasel around the license by cloning Java using open source technologies and a questionably legal JVM (Dalvik).  Sun had a special Java license for the open source community, which didn't apply to Google's situation, but they found a way to take advantage of it anyway.
    The Sun CEO at the time would disagree, as evidenced by his congratulatory welcome to Google's Android. It was Larry Ellison voicing complaints after he purchased Sun some years later.

    So again unrelated to the Fitbit takeover where Google has committed themselves to a binding agreement in order to gain approval for the purchase. 
    edited January 2021
Sign In or Register to comment.