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Google taps fitness tracker market with $2.1 billion bid for Fitbit

(Reuters) – Alphabet Inc-owned Google will buy Fitbit Inc for $2.1 billion, as the biggest Web search company looks to take on Apple and Samsung in the crowded market for fitness trackers and smart watches.

Google said on Friday that it sees an opportunity to introduce its own wearable devices and invest more in digital health. The purchase will also bring a rich trove of health data gathered by millions of Fitbit’s devices.

Fitbit’s fitness trackers and other devices monitor users’ daily steps, calories burned and distance traveled. They also measure floors climbed, sleep duration and quality, and heart rate.

Fitbit’s share of the fitness tracking market has been threatened by deeper-pocketed companies such as Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd as well as cheaper offerings from China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] and Xiaomi Corp.

“We believe Google is a natural fit. The deep health and fitness data, coupled with the 28 million active users on the Fitbit platform, offer a tremendous value,” Craig Hallum analysts wrote in a note…

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