Google is stepping up its competition with Apple by spending $2.1 billion to acquire Fitbit. The deal is for $7.35 a share in cash, the Wall Street Journal reports, a price 19% above closing Thursday and a solid 70% higher than before negotiations were reported last week. Owning the maker of wearable fitness products will give Google more of a hold in consumer electronics. Google has struggled to make a dent in the market with its Wear OS platform for years, per the Verge. Smart glasses are one example. For Apple, however, increasing sales of the products has been boosting earnings.
In an era of increasing government scrutiny, privacy could be an issue. Fitbit, which has a paid subscription service, collects a range of information about users. The company issued a statement saying "health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads." And a Google statement reassured that, ”We will never sell personal information to anyone." One analyst wrote, per MarketWatch, that Google could bring Fitbit down to the levels of its consumer products rather than have them lifted by Fitbit. (Read more Fitbit stories.)