On August 05, Amazon and iRobot, maker of the Roomba brand of robotic vacuum cleaners, announced the acquisition by the Internet giant. However, this could now be delayed once again, because the competition authority FTC is taking a closer look at the deal.
FTC examines Amazon iRobot takeover
The takeover of manufacturer iRobot and its Roomba division by Amazon is not going through quite as quickly as hoped. For 1.7 billion U.S. dollars or 61 U.S. dollars per share Amazon had confirmed the acquisition of the Roomba manufacturer in early August 2022, which, however, still required the okay on the part of the authorities.
It is precisely this that is now delaying the deal’s completion, as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is looking at the acquisition in detail, as The Register reports. That could delay the deal by months, possibly even into 2023.
Concerns about monopoly
In the process, the FTC is demanding more details from Amazon about the proposed acquisition. In early September, the Fight for the Future organization had published an open letter calling for the iRobot deal to be halted.
The purchase would “further weaken competition in the smart home device market and further entrench Amazon’s broad-based dominance in the market,” the letter states.
Further, Fight for the Future sees the proposed acquisition of iRobot as “a strong threat to customer privacy and competition in the digital economy”. Roomba vacuuming robots are able to map the apartment or home of their owners. Data protectionists see this as one of the main points because of which Amazon wants to take over the manufacturer.
The acquisition of One Medical by Amazon is also currently being closely scrutinized by the FTC. It remains to be seen how the authority will rule in both matters and whether the takeovers can go ahead as planned.