Wearable device company Fitbit recently went on a shopping spree, picking up Pebble and another smartwatch startup. According to a new report, the company may have actually tried acquiring one of its biggest rivals. The report claims that Fitbit tried to acquire Jawbone, the struggling wearable device.
It’s no secret that Jawbone has a few problems. It has financial troubles as well which were only exacerbated by the long legal dispute that it had to fight with Fitbit.
The Financial Times reports that Fitbit actually tried to buy its arch rival last year. The offer included the acquisition of all of Jawbone’s assets as well as the settlement of its legal disputes but it’s said that the deal couldn’t go through because the price that Fitbit was offering was not acceptable to Jawbone and its investors.
Jawbone was valued at $1.5 billion at the start of last year but Fitbit is believed to have offered only a fraction of that valuation. The court battles between Jawbone and Fitbit continued for a better part of 2016 and the former accuses Fitbit of trying to bleed it dry by burying it under litigation. It’s still pursuing corporate espionage charges against Fitbit.
The report also mentions that Jawbone is trying to turn things around. It’s apparently pivoting from consumer wearable devices to medical wearables and is seeking approval from the FDA so that it can sell those devices through insurers in the United States. It’s also reportedly no longer looking for a buyer and is actually close to finding a new investor.
Both companies have not yet commented on this report.