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Google Just Closed the $2.1 Billion Fitbit Acquisition

By Anders Bylund - Updated Jan 14, 2021 at 3:48PM

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Two regulatory reviews are still pending, but their official deadlines have expired.

Alphabet's (GOOG -0.08%) (GOOGL -0.16%) subsidiary Google just closed the $2.1 billion buyout of wearable devices specialist Fitbit. The online services giant said that the deal will support Google's commitment to health and fitness while giving Fitbit's hardware access to Google's cloud-computing and artificial-intelligence tools.

The Fitbit buyout started going through the regulatory approval process way back in November 2019. The deal faced many challenges along the way from regulatory bodies in Europe, America, and Asia. Some consumers worry about Google using personal data from Fitbit's 29 million registered users and 120 million devices to support completely unrelated business projects such as personalized advertising.

The U.S. Justice Department will continue to investigate the buyout even after the official closing, according to Reuters. The deal is also still waiting for an OK from Australian government bodies. Google went ahead and announced the closing anyhow because the standard waiting periods for each of the pending reviews have expired.

A businessman watches a large mural of jigsaw puzzle pieces, where some fit together and others remain separate.

Image source: Getty Images.

Rick Osterloh, Google's senior vice president for devices and services, promised that the merger would respect privacy concerns and keep Fitbit's data separate from other Google operations.

"This deal has always been about devices, not data, and we've been clear since the beginning that we will protect Fitbit users' privacy," Osterloh wrote. "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."

Fitbit CEO James Park echoed Osterloh's commitment in a separate blog post: "We'll stay committed to doing what's right, to putting your health and wellness at the center of everything we do and to offering a no-one-size-fits-all approach with choices that work across both Android and iOS." 

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