Google on Monday announced that they have entered into an agreement to purchase Nest Labs, Inc., makers of the popular Nest Learning Thermostat and the recently-released Protect smoke detector, for $3.2 billion in cash. In the world of startup acquisitions, this is a big one.

In a statement on the matter, Google CEO Larry Page said Nest's founders have built a tremendous team and they are excited to welcome them into the Google family. Likewise, Fadell said they were thrilled to join Google and that with their support, Nest will be even better placed to build simple, thoughtful devices that make life easier at home and have a positive impact on the world.

The company will continue to operate under the leadership of co-founder Tony Fadell and will maintain its own distinct brand identity.

Late last year, rumors circulated that Google was in the process of testing multiple Internet-connected thermostats as part of a program known as EnergySense.

Less than two weeks ago, we reported that Nest was close to closing a new round of funding valued at $150 million. The deal would have valued the company at $2 billion so it would seem that Google has certainly paid a premium to jump into the home automation game with an established leader in Nest.

The acquisition is expected to close in the next few months and is subject to customary closing conditions including the receipt of regulatory approvals in the US.