Google and watchmaker Fossil Group on January 17, 2019 announced an agreement for the search giant to acquire some of Fossil’s smartwatch technology and members of the research and development division responsible for creating it. The deal is worth roughly $40 million, and under the current terms Fossil will transfer a “portion” of its R&D team, the portion directly responsible for the intellectual property being sold, over to Google.
As a result, Google will now have a dedicated team with hardware experience working internally on its WearOS software platform and potentially on new smartwatch designs as well.
Shares of Fossil jumped about 8 percent on the news.
Fossil is one of the primary brands that continues to build smartwatches that run Google’s Wear OS software, which competes with the Apple Watch but has struggled to gain mass adoption among consumers. But Fossil said that smartwatches are its fastest-growing category.
“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,” said Stacey Burr, vice president of product management, Wear OS by Google.
Fossil said the transaction is expected to close in January.