Google Buys Home Gadgets Firm Nest For £2bn
A company that makes "talking" smoke alarms and thermostats that can be controlled from mobile phones has been bought by Google for $3.2bn (£2bn).
The cash deal for Nest, which was founded less than four years ago, is one of the biggest in the company's history.
It eclipses the $1.65bn (£1bn) Google spent on YouTube in 2006 and the $1.3bn (£794m) it paid for the mapping app Waze last year.
It also continues the technology giant's move into consumer electronics, adding to a list of hardware that includes smartphones, tablets and its Google Glass eyewear.
Larry Page, Google's chief executive, said: "Nest's founders have built a tremendous team that we're excited to welcome into the Google family.
"They're already delivering amazing products you can buy right now - thermostats that save energy and smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that can help keep your family safe."
Nest was founded in May 2010 by Tony Fadell, who led the team that created the first iPods and iPhones, and software developer Matt Rogers.
It launched its first product - a smart thermostat that learns a family's daily routine and adjusts temperatures automatically - the following October.
Nest Protect - a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm that replaces the familiar chirping noise with a human voice - launched in the UK last October.
The products will continue to be sold under the Nest brand after the Google acquisition, which is expected to be completed in the coming months.
Mr Fadell said: "With Google's support, we will be even better placed to build simple, thoughtful devices that make life easier at home, and that have a positive impact on the world."
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