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Big wearables deal: Google buying Fitbit for $2.1 billion

Nilesh Chandra, healthcare expert at PA Consulting, comments on Google’s acquisition of Fitbit.

Click here to read the full Mercury News article

Google is buying Fitbit for about $2.1 billion, diving into the world of wearables already occupied by rivals such as Apple.

The maker of wearable fitness trackers agreed to a deal worth $7.35 a share in cash. It is unclear how the deal, expected to close in 2020 pending approval from Fitbit shareholders, will affect Fitbit’s executives and employees. Founded in 2007, Fitbit popularized the tracking of steps, calories burned and other health-related measures such as heart rate, but that information is now also tracked by devices like the iPhone and the Apple Watch. Apple devices and those made by Chinese manufacturers have overtaken Fitbit in the past few years. In the first quarter of 2019, Apple had 25.8% market share, Xiaomi had 13.3%, Huwaei 10%, Samsung 8.7% and Fitbit just 5.9%, according to Statista. In the same period five years ago, Fitbit’s market share was 44.7%.

Nilesh says patient data is the holy grail in healthcare. 

Nilesh adds: “This is a pure data play. Google has shown themselves adept at making similar moves in the past on data (e.g. Waze) and also worth noting that they are behind both Apple and Samsung in wearables, so Fitbit makes sense for Google.”

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