Google parent Alphabet is in talks for a potential acquisition of smartwatch maker Fitbit, a move that could bolster its hardware business while also increasing antitrust scrutiny, according to a person familiar with the deal.
Reuters reported the talks earlier on Monday, sending Fitbit’s stock up as much as 41%. Alphabet chief financial officer Ruth Porat declined to comment on whether the two companies are in discussions.
Deliberations are ongoing and it may not result in a transaction, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private.
Google is under investigation for anticompetitive behaviour by both the US federal government and a collection of state attorneys-general because of its online advertising and data collection practices, making any acquisition the company does likely to come under strict scrutiny.
At the same time though, the Internet giant is looking to bolster its hardware business, which includes smart home speakers and devices, laptops and the Pixel line of smartphones. Fitbit could give Google a leg-up in the smartwatch and health tracker space