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Adidas gains advantage after buying Runtastic

Runtastic gives Adidas access to a community of about 70 million active users.

Runtastic gives Adidas access to a community of over 70 million users. Picture: @adidas via Twitter.

FRANKFURT - Adidas AG has bought fitness tracking app maker Runtastic, giving it access to a community of 70 million active users and helping it catch rivals in connected wearables.

The rumors are true. Runtastic & the @adidas Group are teaming up: http://t.co/ESjbnTQQhv pic.twitter.com/2Kf9qqcB75

The German group said on Wednesday it had completed the acquisition from majority owner Axel Springer SE, along with the company's founders and an "angel" investor, in a deal valuing the Austrian company at €220 million.

Rival Nike Inc was a pioneer in fitness tracking, teaming up with Apple Inc on the Nike+ running program for the iPod and iPhone and launching the FuelBand in 2012.

Adidas has been losing market share in sporting goods to its bigger US rival and launched its own miCoach fitness device only last year.

Fast-growing Under Armour Inc, which last year overtook Adidas as the second-biggest sportswear maker in the United States, earlier this year bought diet and exercise app MyFitnessPal for $475 million and social fitness network Endomondo for $85 million.

Under Armour said those deals had given it a total of 120 million registered users on its Connected Fitness platform, which it said made it the largest digital health and fitness community in the world.

Adidas said Runtastic offers over 20 apps covering a variety of endurance, health and fitness activities in 18 languages.