Fitbit Acquires Assets as Pebble Shuts Down -- Tech Roundup

Not long ago, rumors started to fly about Fitbit's (FIT) possible acquisition of Pebble, a smaller competitor in the fitness/activity monitoring industry. The acquisition cost was reported to be between $34 million and $40 million.

The price seems a bit low, yes? Well, that's because Fitbit was mostly planning on making the deal for the intellectual property of Pebble, while the latter must have been in some trouble. Supposedly, this buyout price barely covered the company's debts. So it's made to believe then that Pebble was selling itself because it had to, not because it wanted to.

On Wednesday, the news was confirmed that Pebble is indeed shutting down and Fitbit is absorbing the company's intellectual property and staff. The Pebble products will no longer be produced.

It would seem that this is good news for Fitbit, although the stock's rather muted reaction wouldn't necessarily indicate so. The company gains talent and hopefully a better product out of the deal, while simultaneously losing a competitor.

All this, and the price tag was very minor. That should be a win for Fitbit as it looks to compete with companies like Apple (AAPL) and Garmin (GRMN) .

Share of Fitbit closed at $7.97 Wednesday, down 0.1%.

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Slack and Alphabet (GOOGL) are teaming up, as the workplace chat platform shacks up with Google Cloud.

The former had already integrated features from the latter (like Google Drive, which stores files) for use within the chat feature. This made it easy for co-workers to share projects with one another, be it word documents or spreadsheets.

According to Slack, the Google Drive integration is one of its most popular features, used roughly 60,000 times per weekday. The integration is expected to make sharing and collaborating even easier - and both companies can benefit from the partnership.

First, Slack ties in more tightly with Google, which has millions upon millions of users. This brings exposure and convenience to the company's platform, while it's in the thick of competition with its peers.

For Google, it adds yet another feature that its users can take advantage of, making the Google system that much more important to them.

Finally, the two teaming up can help take on the recently merged Microsoft (MSFT) and LinkedIn (LNKD) .

Shares of Alphabet closed at $791.47 Wednesday, up 2%.


Last year, Airbnb headlined GlassDoor's list of best large companies to work for in the U.S. Well, the company is running into some roadblocks, be it in the office or when it comes to setting rental limits.

The company has tumbled down to No. 36 on this year's list of top places to work, with Facebook (FB) coming in at No. 2 overall and boasting the title for best place to work among large tech companies.

Alphabet comes in No. 4, LinkedIn at No. 8, Adobe (ADBE) at No. 9, SAP (SAP) at No. 15 and Salesforce (CRM)  at No. 17. Each company moved higher from the previous year, with the the exception of LinkedIn, which slipped two spots.

Behind Airbnb though, was another big "A" name, with Apple coming in at No. 36 and Microsoft right behind it at No. 37. Apple was and to a large extent still is known as one of the better places to work. But it has cracked GlassDoor's top 20 only once since 2009, with its No. 10 ranking in 2012.

While handing out plenty of perks may seems like a negative to some investors, keep in mind that it's these perks that help attract top talent. That talent hopefully translates to superior products, and hopefully superior earnings and returns as a result.

Shares of Facebook closed at $117.95, up 0.6%.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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