Google owner Alphabet in bid to buy Fitbit

Google owner Alphabet has made an offer to acquire U.S. wearable device maker Fitbit, as it eyes a slice of the crowded market for fitness trackers and smartwatches, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

While Google has joined other major technology companies such as Apple and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd in developing smart phones, it has yet to develop any wearable offerings.

There is no certainty that the negotiations between Google and Fitbit will lead to any deal, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the matter is confidential. The exact price that Google has offered for Fitbit could not be learned.

Google and Fitbit declined to comment.

Fitbit shares rose 27% on the news, giving the company a market capitalization of $1.4 billion. Alphabet shares rose 2% to $1,293.49.

A deal for Fitbit would come as its dominant share of the fitness tracking sector continues to be chipped away by cheaper offerings from companies such as China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and Xiaomi Corp.

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

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