By Sheji Halima
Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has reached an agreement to purchase Fitbit, a leading maker of fitness trackers, the company said on Friday.
Google will pay $7.35 per share in cash for Fitbit, a price that values the company at about $2.1 billion.
The purchase will pit Alphabet against Apple, whose Apple Watch is the worldwide leader in wearable fitness tracking devices.
“We’ve signed an agreement to acquire @Fitbit,’’ Google said in a tweet.
“Together, we aim to spur innovation in wearables and build helpful products to benefit more people around the world.’’
Rick Osterloh, Google’s Head of Hardware, said in a blog post the acquisition can help Google advance its ambitions for its operating system for smartwatches, known as Wear OS.
“By working closely with Fitbit’s team of experts, and bringing together the best artificial intelligence software and hardware, we can help spur innovation in wearables and build products to benefit even more people around the world,’’ Osterloh said.
Google remains committed to Wear OS and its partners and plans to work closely with Fitbit to combine the best of the two smartwatch and fitness tracker platforms.
Osterloh said Alphabet has made progress with its Wear OS but sees an opportunity to invest even more in it and introduce ‘Made by Google’ wearable devices into the market.
He described Fitbit as a true pioneer in the industry.