Google buys gadget maker Nest Labs for $3.2bn

14/01/2014

Google has bought technology firm Nest Labs, founded by iPod inventor Tony Fadell, in a $3.2bn deal that could help the internet giant rival Apple in terms of hardware.

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The move marks Google’s second biggest purchase to date, behind its $9.4bn acquisition of Motorola Mobility, and is expected to signal the start of a major push into consumer devices.

California-based Nest Labs produces a thermostat capable of learning user behaviour and working out whether a building is occupied or not, using temperature, humidity, activity and light sensors.

The firm will continue to be run by chief executive Tony Fadell and maintain its own distinct identity, Google said in a statement.

"Nest's founders, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, have built a tremendous team that we are excited to welcome into the Google family," said Google chief executive Larry Page.

Fadell was head of Apple's music division until he left the firm in 2008.

He is known as the "father of the iPod" for his work on the first 18 generations of Apple's music player and was also involved in the hardware design of the original iPhone.

Google's purchase of Nest Labs follows its acquisition of military robot-maker Boston Dynamics last month and of human-gesture recognition start-up Flutter in October.

The search giant did not release any details of those deals.

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