Market Overview

Google Buys Smartwatch Tech And Know-How From Fossil

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Google Buys Smartwatch Tech And Know-How From Fossil

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG)(NASDAQ: GOOGL)'s Google unit said Thursday it's buying about $40 million worth of smartwatch technology from watch maker Fossil Group Inc. (NASDAQ: FOSL), which is throwing in the R&D employees who developed it as part of the deal.

What We Know

While neither Google nor Fossil said what, exactly, the new technology is, the head of Google’s Wear OS division, which oversees a version of Google’s Android operating system for smartwatches and other wearables, alluded to wellness.

“Wearables, built for wellness, simplicity, personalization and helpfulness, have the opportunity to improve lives by bringing users the information and insights they need quickly, at a glance,” Stacey Burr, Google’s vice president of product management, Wear OS by Google, said in a statement. “The addition of Fossil Group’s technology and team to Google demonstrates our commitment to the wearables industry by enabling a diverse portfolio of smartwatches and supporting the ever-evolving needs of the vitality-seeking, on-the-go consumer.”

Growing Interest

There’s a growing interest in linking wearable technology and medicine or health monitoring. Google and Fossil’s announcement followed news earlier this week that competitor Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is working with insurers to try to get them to cover part of the cost of their smartwatches for health purposes.

Fossil was the second-best performing retail stock of 2018.

Shares of Fossil were up more than 3.5 percent to $18.04 after the announcement. Shares had hit an intra-day high of $19.20.

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