Amazon’s Acquisition of iRobot Faces New Challenges From EU Antitrust Regulators

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Amazon’s $1.7 billion (almost Rs. 14,100 crore) acquisition of robotic vacuum cleaner maker iRobot might scale back competitors and strengthen Amazon’s place as on-line market supplier, EU antitrust regulators warned on Thursday.

The European Fee opened a full-scale investigation and can determine by November 15 whether or not to clear or block the deal.

“We proceed to work via the method with the European Fee and are centered on addressing its questions and any recognized considerations at this stage,” an Amazon spokesperson advised Reuters.

Antitrust enforcers world wide have stepped up scrutiny of Large Tech buying smaller rivals, involved concerning the accumulation of troves of knowledge by a number of firms, and large gamers leveraging their dominance into new markets.

The acquisition introduced in August final yr would add iRobot’s Roomba robotic vacuum to Amazon’s portfolio of sensible units, which embrace the Alexa voice assistant, sensible thermostats, safety units and wall-mounted sensible shows.

IRobot made its first Roomba robotic vacuum in 2002. Amazon has beforehand stated the vacuum cleaner market could be very aggressive, with a number of Chinese language gamers.

“The Fee is worried that the transaction would enable Amazon to limit competitors available in the market for robotic vacuum cleaners and to strengthen its place as on-line market supplier,” the EU government stated.

“The Fee carefully cooperated with different competitors authorities in the course of the preliminary investigation and can proceed such cooperation in the course of the in-depth investigation (…) the opening of an in-depth inquiry doesn’t prejudge the end result of the investigation”.

The Amazon spokesperson additionally stated the corporate may “provide an organization like iRobot the sources to speed up innovation and put money into important options whereas decreasing costs for customers.”

The EU competitors enforcer’s determination confirmed a Reuters story final month and got here a month after the UK antitrust company cleared the deal unconditionally after a preliminary assessment.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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