Another chapter can be added to the saga detailing the fierce rivalry between Jawbone and Fitbit, as Jawbone is now making claims that the latter is under criminal investigation for actions against the company. The conflict between the two wearables makers should require no introduction by now, as the chaos between them has been in and out of the news over the last several months with relative frequently. Fitbit even tried to get its competitor banned from being imported into the US before ultimately dropping the case in December. More recently, the fitness device manufacturer reportedly went so far as to try and buy out its struggling rival for an undisclosed sum. However, either the offered amount wasn't enough or Jawbone simply has no interest in being bought by its arch-enemy.
In the latest turn of events, Jawbone filed a civil suit in a California court on February 1, including a claim that Fitbit is currently under investigation in a criminal matter involving theft of trade secrets – which were allegedly stolen by poached workers and handed over to Fitbit. Fitbit objects, of course, saying that the alleged criminal misconduct has already been both looked into and dismissed by the US International Trade Commission as of October of last year. The company released a statement on February 6, reporting that it is cooperating and will continue to cooperate with authorities as needed to bring the matter to a close once and for all. The hearing associated with this month's filing is set for February 15.
While Fitbit claims that there is no merit to Jawbone's allegations, it is unlikely that the latter company would file court documents if the company did not believe there was merit to its claims. Regardless of whether the allegations prove to be true or false, Jawbone's market share has steadily declined over the past several years. Fitbit's own stock value is down by half from last year. Beyond those facts, both company's stocks have suffered in recent months and it is likely that the drawn out legal conflicts between the two wearables giants have had something to do with that downturn.