Fitbit and Jawbone have a well-documented and contentious past relationship with ongoing legal patent issues.
It was an interesting but unsurprising turn of events when it was reported the two fitness tracker wearable companies were considering an acquisition.
Fitbit has been on a shopping spree as of late snapping up both Pebble Smartwatches and Vector the European Smartwatch manufacturer, Vector. As we have been reporting, Fitbit is in the process of expanding their software and technical personnel arsenal to move into the Smartwatch segment of the Wearable Tech markets.
What seems to be the reason for the breakdown in adding Jawbone to the Fitbit wearable tracking family?
Sometimes things are as simple as what they seem, and price seems to be the hindering factor in the breakdown of acquisition negotiations between Fitbit and Jawbone. It has been suggested that Fitbit only wanted to offer a minuscule percentage of Jawbone’s 1.5 company valuation from 2016.
The wearable industry would have benefitted from a potential consolidation of Fitbit as a leader of the fitness tracker market with Jawbone to put an end to allegations of theft of trader secrets and ongoing patent infringement lawsuits.
Fitbit put an end last month to the patent infringement part of the Jawbone case but with negotiations breaking down, the ongoing trade secret misappropriation issue is now set for trial in California this year.
While Fitbit is continuing to build a solid base for both the wearable fitness tracker market and transition into innovative Smartwatch markets, where does Jawbone go from here?
The good news is that things have been looking up for the embattled Jawbone fitness tracker brand. In addition to the $165 million in funding they raised a year ago, Jawbone also raised $300 million from BlackRock investment manager firm.
Last year, Jawbone reportedly had a dispute with BlackRock trying to force a sale of the fitness tracker company. This was met with resistance from the Jawbone CEO resulting in the company hiring an investment bank to handle any potential bids for the sale of the company.
Jawbone still retains a well received fitness tracker wearable, proprietary software, and technical personnel as part of their overall value, so it will be interesting to see how Jawbone goes in finding that perfect match in the future.