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Google-Fitbit merger: 5 things you need to know

Over the past few years, love for the smartwatches is powering the growth in the wearable tech market. Thanks to Apple, Fitbit, Samsung, Garmin, and others. Over the years, the smartwatch has gotten considerably better, especially with size, battery life, features, and performance. 

According to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s report, the global smartwatch market was valued at shipments volume of 43.87 million in 2018 and it is expected to reach a volume of 108.91 million by 2024, registering a CAGR of 14.5% during the forecast period 2019-2024. 

Furthermore, the report added, IoT-driven smartwatches are a key trend that will not only operate as a standalone technology but interact with other IoT-devices to vastly improve a user’s quality of life.

Besides Apple, and a couple of other companies, people have been waiting for a watch from Google Pixel or Pixel. And yes, even without any leaks, it can be one of the best and most integrated smartwatches ever. A handful of attempts have been made to launch a smartwatch in 2016, a year prior to Apple Watch’s debut, but fell victim to an internal reorganisation and shifting priorities. 

Google’s acquisition

However, in late 2019, Google made a huge announcement of acquiring Fitbit, a company known for its fitness watch. But the deal hasn’t gone through all the required regulatory approvals yet. 

Notably, 20 advocacy groups based in the US, Latin America, Europe, and other regions signed a joint statement urging government regulators to be careful about Google’s acquisition of Fitbit.

Full investigation of Google’s proposed acquisition of Fitbit

Recently, the European Commission opened an in-depth investigation of Google’s acquisition despite the search-engine giant’s offer last month to not use Fitbit’s health data for ads targeting.

According to the European Commission, the proposed transaction would further entrench Google’s market position in the online advertising markets by increasing the already vast amount of data that Google could use for personalisation of the ads it serves and displays.

The commission said it is expected to come to a decision by December 9 on whether it would allow the deal to go through. Reportedly, the investigation would take somewhere up to four months and may focus on the use of this data in healthcare. 

Google: Deal is about the devices, not the data

In response to that, Google said it would cooperate with the process that safeguards consumers. The Google spokesperson said that the deal is about the devices, not the data. “The wearables space is crowded, and we believe the combination of Google and Fitbit’s hardware efforts will increase competition in the sector, benefiting consumers and making the next generation of devices better and more affordable.”

Fitbit: The time frame may extend beyond 2020

Fitbit recently posted its second-quarter results where its revenue fell 16.7% to $ 261.3 million, compared with a year ago. The net loss has widened to $ 104.1 million during the quarter, greater than the loss of $ 68.5 million a year ago. 

Talking about the Google’s merger, Fitbit in its filing said, “While we still expect Fitbit and Google to secure the necessary regulatory approvals and to close the transaction in 2020, the time frame may extend beyond that.” 

Google joins hands with Samsung!

According to the report circulating on the Internet, Google has ordered a movement tracker chip from Samsung amidst the investigation. While the exact use case of the chip is not clear, this indicates Google-branded wearable is taking a step closer to reality. The report further adds that the South Korean tech giant is designing and producing semiconductors that will enable Google to customise chips as per the needs.  

So what do you guys think about Google’s smartwatch? Let us know in the comments below.

Main image credits: Fitbit

The post Google-Fitbit merger: 5 things you need to know appeared first on Silicon Canals .

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