Google (GOOG) is moving into the home appliance business. The Internet search giant-turned technology developer announced on Monday that it will acquire Nest Labs, best known for creating a line of smart thermostats.
Nest Labs is headed by former Apple (AAPL) executive Tony Fadell, who was behind the creation of the iPod. Google will pay $3.2 billion to buy Nest, its largest purchase since spending $12.5 billion to buy Motorola in 2012. The acquisition gives Google a beach head in home appliances, which are increasingly gaining WiFi connectivity — a move toward the so-called “Internet of Everything,” in which all devices are ultimately networked and subject to remote control, Reuters notes.
Roughly a third of Nest’s team of 300 are former Apple employees. The Nest smart thermostat has been sold through Apple’s online store, as well as retailers like Best Buy (BBY). Fadell told Reuters that privacy issues had been a major talking point during his negotiations with Google about the merger. Nest will remain an independent brand after the acquisition.
GOOG stock climbed almost 1% in Tuesday morning trading. GOOG stock rose above $1,000 a share in October. GOOG stock has continued to climb since then. GOOG stock rose above $1,100 a share in December. GOOG stock is currently trading at more than $1,135 a share.
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