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Samsung looks to outpace Google in race to buy Nokia Health

Samsung could outbid Google for Nokia's smart health business, but a local French buyer is reportedly preferred.

Published onApril 20, 2018

  • Samsung is reportedly one of four companies interested in buying Nokia Health.
  • Just a few days ago, Google’s Nest was mentioned in news reports as one of the other potential buyers.
  • Despite interest from the two tech giants, a sale to a local company is apparently preferred.

Samsung is apparently one of four companies interested in acquiring Nokia Health. According to Le Monde, this puts it in competition with Google’s Nest and two French companies in the race to buy the ailing digital health business.

Nokia bought Withings, a digital health startup, in 2016 with an eye on the smart health market. After the takeover, Withings was rebranded as Nokia Health. It currently produces a number of digital health products for the home including a body scale, activity trackers, and sleep sensors.

However, the takeover has not been a success. According to Le Monde, the eventual buyer is likely to pay less than the $192 million that Nokia paid for the company.

While both Google and Samsung are thought to be in the running to buy the company, the Le Monde article suggests that a takeover by a local firm is favored. This is due to the perceived importance of sectors related to the artificial intelligence industry within France.

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Despite Nokia’s relative failure in the digital health market, the fact that companies as large as Google and Samsung seem to want to buy Nokia Health appears to show that for the right buyer there could still be value in the company’s products and intellectual property.

Both Samsung and Google already develop a wide range of connected products. Google has the smart home products from Nest as well as its Google Home devices. Samsung, meanwhile, has the Samsung SmartThings smart hub and is reportedly developing a Bixby-powered smart speaker. It is also involved in the digital health market through its Gear smartwatches and fitness bands.

It is easy to see, therefore, how the ready-made expertise and existing products of Nokia Health would fit pretty seamlessly into either company’s portfolio.

Next up: 11 Smart home gadgets perfect for Android users

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