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Google Inks $40M Fossil Watch Deal

Google has reportedly inked a $40 million deal with Fossil for the transfer of around 20 engineers alongside hybrid smartwatch technology.

Announced in January of this year, The Fossil Group agreed to sell hybrid smartwatch tech to Google with the research and development team behind the intellectual property joining as part of the transaction.

However, Wareable has revealed that the team joining Google included 20 engineers, reportedly from Misfit, a wearable technology company acquired by Fossil in 2015.

Internally known as “Diana”, Fossil reportedly felt pressure to sell the hybrid smartwatch technology in order to recoup expenses for supporting its engineering talent.

The hybrid smartwatch technology, developed by Misfit, uses far less power than other smartwatches and could be implemented in an upcoming device from Google, such as the long-rumoured Pixel Watch.

Sources say Google had more interest in the talent rather than the Diana technology, with one person referring to the deal as an ‘acqui-hire’.

One person involved in the deal described it as “terrible”, believing the technology and talent were worth much more than what Google paid.

“They [Fossil] overhired and over-acquired. It was too much operating expense,” they said. “So instead of having to fire 50, 80 people or whatever, they did these deals.”

Conflicting philosophies surrounding wearable tech between Fossil and Misfit are reportedly to blame for the eventual transfer of the 20 engineers to Google alongside the smartwatch technology.

Fossil Group chief strategy and digital officer, Greg McKelvey, told Wareable “the Fossil Group will bring the product to market, across our full breadth of brands over time, and then in true Google fashion, the technology will be expanded across the industry over time to benefit all.”

Both Fossil and Google refused to comment on the terms of the deal, with Google telling Wareable, “we don’t comment on rumours or speculation”.

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