Fitbit devices

Google is doubling down on the wrist — buying Fitbit Inc. and going toe-to-toe with the Apple Watch.

Confirming earlier reports, Google said it would pay $2.1 billion cash for the wearable pioneer. 

“More than 12 years ago, we set an audacious company vision: to make everyone in the world healthier,” said James Park, cofounder and chief executive officer of Fitbit. “Today, I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved toward reaching that goal. 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.

“Google is an ideal partner to advance our mission,” he said. “With Google’s resources and global platform, 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.”

Just what lies ahead is still not certain, but Google has been readying itself to work more in wearables. The tech giant spent $40 million in January to buy wearable tech from Fossil, which is one of the most important partners for Google’s Wear OS and makes watches for Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Emporio Armani and more. 

Rick Osterloh, senior vice president, devices and services at Google, said: “Fitbit has been a true pioneer in the industry and has created terrific products, experiences and a vibrant community of users. We’re looking forward to working with the incredible talent at Fitbit, and bringing together the best hardware, software and AI, to build wearables to help even more people around the world.”

The deal is expected to close next year.

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