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Facebook Held Talks to Buy Fitbit Before Google Struck Deal

Before Google reached a $2.1 billion deal to buy Fitbit, announced on Friday, Facebook held talks to acquire the smartwatch maker, according to two people familiar with the situation. But Facebook was interested in buying Fitbit at roughly half what Google proved willing to pay, one of the people with direct knowledge of the talks said.

Facebook’s interest in Fitbit signals the social network’s growing ambitions in hardware, an area the company has invested in aggressively over the past several years but which has yet to become a material part of its business. Facebook and Fitbit declined to comment.