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Cleary, Fenwick & West Lead Google’s $2.1 Billion Fitbit Buy (2)

Nov. 1, 2019, 3:44 PMUpdated: Nov. 1, 2019, 6:14 PM

Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton announced it advised Alphabet Inc.’s Google in its $2.1 billion purchase of smartwatch maker Fitbit, which tapped Fenwick & West for advice.

The deal comes as Google looks to expand into the fast-growing market of wearable devices, at a time of increased competition from the likes of Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.

But the acquisition could attract regulatory scrutiny as state and federal regulators are look into how Google handles its consumer data and probe the tech giant over antitrust concerns.

James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit said in a statement that the deal will help Fitbit, which already has more than 28 million active users, grow across the globe.

“Google is an ideal partner to advance our mission,” he said. “With Google’s resources and global platform, Fitbit will be able to accelerate innovation in the wearables category, scale faster, and make health even more accessible to everyone.”

Leading the Cleary team on the deal, expected to close in 2020, are corporate and M&A partners Aaron Meyers and Glenn McGrory. Both have advised Google on numerous transactions over the years, including its pending $2.6 billion acquisition of cloud software provider Looker Data Sciences announced earlier this year. They also advised Google in its $1.1 billion acquisition in 2018 of most of HTC’s smartphone design division and its 2013 acquisition of Waze for $1.2 billion.

Meyers also was a part of the Cleary team that helped Google purchase Motorola Mobility in 2012 for $12.5 billion. He also worked on Google’s subsequent sale of Motorola’s mobile devices business to Lenovo for $2.9 billion.

Cleary was also one of several firms that represented Google as it faced off against the European Union back in 2017 over a nearly $3 billion antitrust fine.

Also representing Google in its Fitbit acquisition are employment partner Michael Albano; intellectual property and U.S. data privacy partner Daniel Ilan; tax partners Jason Factor and Corey Goodman; antitrust and competition partners Robbert Snelders, Leah Brannon, and Elaine Ewing; and litigation partner Roger Cooper.

Fenwick & West has been on board with Fitbit for some of the company’s biggest moments.

Fenwick represented the wearables maker in its $732 million initial public offering in July 2015 and its $493 million follow-on public offering later that year.

Corporate partner and M&A co-chair Doug Cogen led team representing Fitbit in the Google deal.

The deal team also included corporate partners Ran Ben-Tzur and Bomi Lee; executive benefits and compensation partners Scott Spector and Gerald Audant and senior corporate attorney Nicholas Frey; technology transactions partners Stephen Gillespie and Jonathan Millard; privacy and cybersecurity director Lael Bellamy and associates.

Vinson & Elkins provided antitrust advice to Google in the transaction, with the chair of its antitrust practice group Darren Tucker leading the team.

(Updated with information about Vinson & Elkins)

To contact the reporter on this story: Meghan Tribe in New York at mtribe@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at jkamens@bloomberglaw.com; Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com

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