The case ‘Google Steps up its Game in Healthcare Wearables – Acquires Fitbit’ is about the Acquisition of Fitbit by Google. Google acquired Fitbit to scale up faster in the healthcare wearables market and accelerate innovation in it. Google wanted to be on a par with competitors such as Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and Xiaomi and also be ready for any future competition from Amazon.
The healthcare wearable industry’s potential and its future prospects are explained in detail followed by a note on Google and its foray into healthcare wearables. Fitbit’s background is also covered along with details of the acquisitions it had made since its inception. The acquisition of Fitbit by Google created a ripple in the market and analysts opined that it had been done to allow Google to compete effectively with Apple in the wearables market. The acquisition also brought to the fore the issue of data privacy and Google had to deal with the Government and Federal agencies in the US on anti-competitive practices. The case ends by taking a look at the future outlook for the healthcare wearables industry with various value added services and new technologies to be incorporated into wearables and at how Google plans to take the competition head-on.
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The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:
Understand the difference between horizontal mergers/acquisitions, vertical mergers/acquisitions, and conglomerate mergers/acquisitions.
Evaluate the importance of strategic planning in acquisitions and mergers.
Understand how organizations utilize the Ansoff Matrix for formulating long term strategies.
Analyze the difference between buying a new technology and developing a new technology.