By Paresh Dave
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc merged smart thermostat maker Nest, which had operated as an independent unit, into its Google hardware group, the company announced in a blog post on Wednesday.
The move unified Google's growing hardware team, which designs smartphones, laptops and speakers, with Nest, which sells video doorbells, security cameras and thermostats that automatically adjust settings based on user behavior.
Rick Osterloh, who leads Google's hardware efforts, and Nest Chief Executive Marwan Fawaz, said in the blog post that they hoped integration of their teams would "supercharge Nest’s mission" to make homes safer, friendlier to the environment and more affordable.
Google acquired Nest for $3.2 billion in 2014. Nest operated on its own as part of the establishment in 2015 of holding company Alphabet, which also explored selling the firm in 2016, Reuters reported.
Alphabet has not taken impairment charges in the last three years on its acquisitions.
Nest device sales represented a big chunk of revenue for Alphabet's "Other Bets" division, which brought in $1.2 billion last year. Other Bets now is left with revenue-generating units such as Access, which sells Internet services, and Verily, which licenses medical technology.
Google did not immediately respond to questions about whether the restructuring had led to job cuts.
Nest and Google had already begun to collaborate on hardware development, with Google last year testing acoustics and its speakers at a Nest facility.
(Reporting by Paresh DaveEditing by Jonathan Oatis)