Amazon faces EU investigation over $1.7B iRobot acquisition
European Union is getting ready to look into Amazon‘s $1.7 billion acquisition of iRobot. The EU regulators have sent Amazon a number of in-depth inquiries about the potential merger, and the investigation is anticipated to focus on the autonomous technology used by iRobot’s Roomba vacuum robot to go about a home and capture images. The announcement follows the U.S. Federal Trade Commission‘s (FTC) announcement that it would be investigating the transaction on its own, with a particular focus on whether it would give Amazon more clout in the market. Customers love the Roomba, but privacy issues have been brought up by its ability to snap images. It is unclear if Amazon will be able to win over regulators on this issue.
The acquisition of iRobot by Amazon is a step in the company’s entry into the smart home sector, which has grown in importance over the past several years. Amazon sees the acquisition of iRobot as a chance to increase its position in this market given the popularity of voice-activated assistants like its own Alexa and the proliferation of smart home gadgets. Antitrust authorities are concerned about the potential effects of Amazon’s expanding market strength on competition, which is why they are paying attention to the acquisition. The most recent illustration of this scrutiny is the EU’s probe, and it is probable that the business will encounter further legal challenges as it tries to increase its market share in the smart home sector.
Both the EU and the FTC are closely examining Amazon’s $1.7 billion acquisition of iRobot. Regulators are concerned about the privacy implications of iRobot’s technology as well as the potential effects the acquisition may have on competition, even if the acquisition is considered as a method for Amazon to increase its footprint in the smart home market. It is still unclear whether Amazon will be able to satisfy regulators and complete the acquisition as the investigations go on.
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