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The long wait for Google's $2.1 billion Fitbit deal - Axios
This isn't the world's largest or most consequential tech merger of the past 12 months, but it is the most fraught.
Google's $2.1 billion deal for Fitbit might go down as the only merger to qualify as both pre-pandemic and post-pandemic.
- Driving the news: European Union antitrust regulators have again extended their decision deadline, this time to Jan. 8, 2021. And it could be further complicated by U.S. authorities, who are drawing up a broader antitrust case against Google and/or its parent company Alphabet. The deal was originally announced on Nov. 1, 2019.
- Reuters reports that Google recently offered concessions to the European Commission: It would "restrict the use of Fitbit data for Google ads, facilitate rival makers of wearables seeking to connect to the Android platform and allow third parties continued access to Fitbit users data with their consent."
- These revisions appear to have satisfied the EC, but that could change once analyzed by outside critics. Plus, again, there are those pesky Americans.
- IDC reports that Fitbit's piece of the overall wearables market fell nearly 30% between Q2 2019 and Q2 2020, from 4.6% to 2.9%, while its share of the wrist-worn wearables market fell by a similar percentage, from 9.8% to 7.3%.
- Fitbit stock has spent most of 2020 trading below $7 per share, even though Google's deal would value it at $7.35 per share in cash.