Google to buy Nest for $3.2 billion

Google logoGoogle announced on Monday that it has entered into an agreement to buy Nest Labs, Inc., makers of the Nest learning thermostat and Nest Protect, a connected smoke detector. The deal will cost Google $3.2 billion and should close in the next few months.

Nest has always been on Google's radar. Google Ventures, the company's startup investment arm, was one of the Nest's early investors. Google was previously rumored to be building a Nest thermostat competitor, and there were even leaked screenshots of a smart thermostat app built by Google called "EnergySense," which would let you control the temperature from a smartphone or Web client.

Google to buy Nest for $3.2 billion

Now that Google is buying its main theoretical competition in this area, it's unclear what will happen to Google's internal projects. The one thing we do know is that the Nest brand will be sticking around, and the CEO of Nest, Tony Fadell, will continue to run the company as a separate division in Google.

Nest has a FAQ up on its site about the acquisition. The highlights include Nest continuing to support iOS and the company making no change to warranties. However, based on some of the initial reactions from potential customers, the most important statement is probably the company's stance on sharing customer data with Google:

Will Nest customer data be shared with Google?

 

Our privacy policy clearly limits the use of customer information to providing and improving Nest’s products and services. We’ve always taken privacy seriously and this will not change.

Nest actually knows a lot about its users, like when they are home and potentially what rooms they are in. So unless the privacy policy changes, Nest is continuing to promise its data will only be used for Nest products. The FAQ implies that this means it will be kept away from the all-seeing eyes of Google.

This situation is still unfolding and Ars will continue to monitor it. We'll update this post as more information becomes available.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Google

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