Google to acquire Fitbit for $2.1 billion

Google to acquire Fitbit for $2.1 billion
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Google announced Friday that it has reached a deal to acquire fitness tracking device company Fitbit for approximately $2.1 billion.

Rick Osterloh, senior vice president of devices and services at Google, said in a press release the purchase is "an opportunity to invest even more in Wear OS as well as introduce Made by Google wearable devices into the market.”

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News of an offer for Fitbit from Alphabet, Google's parent company, was first reported by Reuters earlier this week.

The deal is expected to be completed in 2020, according to a separate press release from Fitbit. The sale will require approval from Fitbit's stockholders and regulators.

Google's acquisition of the popular wearables company comes as the tech giant has struggled to break into the market with its Wear OS platform. With Fitbit, Google will now more directly compete with Apple, which has seen sustained success from its watches and Health app. 

This is not the first fitness wearable company that Google has picked up recently. In January, the search giant bought smartwatch technology from Fossil for $40 million.

The purchases may add fuel to antitrust investigations into Google.

The House Judiciary Committee has launched an investigation into digital marketplace competition, which has focused heavily on dominant players like Google. 

“Google’s proposed acquisition of Fitbit would also give the company deep insights into Americans’ most sensitive information — such as their health and location data — threatening to further entrench its market power online," Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineHillicon Valley: Federal inquiry opened into Google health data deal | Facebook reports millions of post takedowns | Microsoft shakes up privacy debate | Disney plus tops 10M sign-ups in first day Top antitrust Dem presses DOJ, FTC on Google's Fitbit acquisition Hillicon Valley: California AG reveals Facebook investigation | McConnell criticizes Twitter's political ad ban | Lawmakers raise concerns over Google takeover of Fitbit | Dem pushes FCC to secure 5G networks MORE (D-R.I.), head of the committee's subpanel on antitrust, said in a statement.

“This proposed transaction is a major test of antitrust enforcers’ will and ability to enforce the law and halt anti-competitive concentrations of economic power. It deserves an immediate and thorough investigation.”

Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) reacted to the acquisition by calling on "anti-trust enforcers to do their jobs instead of keeping us all under the rule of monopolies."

The Department of Justice is investigating technology giants and has said it's looking at search engines, where Google is the major player.

Alphabet disclosed in September that the Department of Justice had requested documents and information related to prior antitrust investigations.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) is leading a multistate investigation of its own and has requested a broad swath of documents from Google.

—This report was updated at 4 p.m.