Fitness wearables manufacturer Fitbit is close to buying smartwatch maker Pebble, according to The Information — news that has since been independently confirmed by The Verge. Sources say that a deal would see Fitbit taking Pebble's intellectual property, such as its operating system, but would see the Pebble brand phased out. It's not clear yet when the deal will be completed, or when it will be announced.
The Information cites three people reportedly familiar with the deal, who say that Fitbit's offer is believed to be for a "small amount," and comes after Pebble has been searching for a buyer for some time. The company laid off 25 percent of its staff earlier this year, and CEO Eric Migicovsky said at the time that money was "pretty tight these days," despite funding rounds in 2015 and 2016 that raised $26 million.
Pebble rose to prominence in 2012 for running one of the first hugely successful Kickstarter campaigns for its Pebble smartwatch. Since then, it's released updated models with heart rate tracking functionality, moving further into the fitness tracking space occupied by Fitbit and rivals like Jawbone. Fitbit, too, has faced problems in recent years, becoming the target of class action lawsuits and seeing its stock price fall after lukewarm reception of its Blaze watch.
Update December 1st, 2:27AM ET: Story updated with independent confirmation that a deal is in the works.