Google has just announced that it’s buying wearable company Fitbit for $2.1 billion. In a blog post announcing the news, Google SVP of devices and services Rick Osterloh said that the Fitbit purchase is “an opportunity to invest even more in Wear OS as well as introduce Made by Google wearable devices into the market.”
For Google, the deal marks a further push into health as it faces regulatory threats to its massive internet-search and advertising business. It also puts Google in renewed and direct competition with Silicon Valley neighbor Apple Inc., which in the past week said rising sales of wearables and related services.
Google will not use health and wellness data from Fitbit for its ads, according to the announcement. That didn’t convince Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., who is one of the leaders of an antitrust probe into Google. Cicilline said in a statement that the acquisition “would also give the company deep insights into Americans’ most sensitive information.” He added, “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.”