Last year in November, Google announced its plans to acquire Fitbit, one of the most popular wearable manufacturers in the world, for $2.1 billion. Historically, Google's Wear OS has struggled to take off. With the Fitbit-Google merger, the plan was to develop and improve the Wear OS ecosystem, potentially allowing Google to make its own wearable hardware in the future. For Fitbit, the merger feels like a necessity to stay relevant like in its early days, as its devices have been falling behind in terms of market share in recent years.
However, the Alphabet-owned company, and by extension, its acquisition hopes of Fitbit, have faced criticism and regulatory scrutiny in the U.S. and Europe for abusing antitrust laws. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice sued Google's parent company Alphabet for the same.
Notwithstanding the status quo, Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat said the company anticipates its bid for Fitbit will be completed this year. In an interview with Bloomberg, Porat said, “We do still expect we are going to receive the necessary regulatory approvals to hopefully complete the transaction before the end of this year. But the time frame may extend beyond that.”
Corroborating this, European lawmakers were also given a deadline extension to pass a verdict on the acquisition. While the new deadline is January 8, next year, approval may well be in sight now. How the deal pans out from here, remains to be seen.