Listen: Every Step You Take: Google to Acquire Fitbit and Your Data for $2.1 Billion
"From wondering I'm David Brown and this is business wars daily on this Monday November eleventh of it. So that little guilt inducing device on your wrist you know the one that reminds you that you've walked a fraction of your ten thousand steps today. Well according to Google your fit bit and those twenty eight million other wearers are worth more than two billion dollars. That's right alphabet. Google's parent company is is acquiring Fitbit for two point one billion to be precise when rumors of the deal first leaked on October. Twenty seventh fitbit stock surged thirty percent so high at the SEC had to halt trading. The deal was sealed just a few days later on many levels. The sale makes sense. FITBIT's been struggling. It's sales are down around twelve percent from this time last year. The trouble is ferocious competition at both ends of the retail spectrum on the high end. Well the Apple Watch is King Apple share of the North American wearables market is thirty eight percent. The New York Times reported. That's compared to Fitbit second-place twenty four percent and little sharks are also nibbling at fit fitbit from the low end Samsung while way in Xiaomi have all taken bites out of Fitbit's sales the twelve year old businesses lost money virtually every quarter since since late. Two Thousand Sixteen. The fitbit deal fills a hole for alphabet. which has been buying up other consumer electronics businesses like nest and smartphone maker? HTC INCORP but it still has no wearables for Google though. The acquisition is much more strategic than simply offering another hardware product and critic excite much more troubling for consumers. It's about Google's move into health data as we discussed in September fitbit users aren't just counting steps. They're tracking all kinds of health information from sleep and heart rates to wait and food choices. Customers have been willing to allow fitbit to store their personal data ada but Google. That concept is raising a lot of questions about both privacy and antitrust. Google says it won't sell this personal personal data to third parties and it promised not to use health information for its advertising. This presumably in an attempt to calm concerns that to target ads. Google could merge your health information with what it already knows about you. That would be things like your location demographics and browsing history still as box. Vox points out even if it promises not to use it for advertising. Google hasn't ruled out using this data in other ways both apple and fitbit have been employing personal health information to invent new wearable health products intended to do such things prevent strokes"