Citing “sources familiar with the matter,” Wearable reports Alphabet-owned smart home manufacturer Nest is pursuing an acquisition of Nokia’s Withings health tech division.
According to the publication, Nest is one of four companies involved in purchase negotiations for the formerly independent French consumer electronics brand. Two other French firms, as well as one other non-European company, have also expressed interest in the Nokia subsidiary.
Nest, however, isn’t guaranteed to win the bid. Given the recent Facebook scandal involving Cambridge Analytica, the French government is reportedly concerned about the optics of approving the sale of a French company to a data-driven business like Alphabet.
For its part, Nokia is eager to clean house. According to a leaked memo obtained by The Verge earlier this year, the company conducted a strategic review of its digital health assets and concluded that it “didn’t see a path forward” with the business. In fact, while the company bought Withings for €170 million in 2016, it wrote down €141 million of goodwill on the business in 2017.
It’s pretty easy to see why Alphabet is interested in Withings. Health-oriented products like smart scales and thermometers are notably missing from Nest’s lineup.
Integrating Withings into Nest would significantly diversify and boost the latter company’s product portfolio. The company even has a design aesthetic that would mesh well with Nest’s current product products.
The sale is expected to be finalized sometime this month.