British competition watchdogs go green for Amazon’s takeover of iRobot16. June 2023
British competition watchdogs go green for Amazon’s takeover of iRobot
Britain’s competition regulator has cleared Amazon’s $1.7 billion takeover of iRobot, maker of Roomba vacuum cleaners, clearing a regulatory hurdle while others remain in place in the US and Europe.
The UK Competition and Markets Authority concluded that the deal would not affect competition and chose not to escalate its investigation. In its decision, the regulator found that robotic vacuums and the data they collect are not a critical gateway into the burgeoning smart home device market. Also, no evidence was found that Amazon favors iRobot’s products over others on its online platform.
The approval sent iRobot’s shares up 18%, while Amazon’s shares fell slightly. Subject to approval by other jurisdictions, the acquisition would become Amazon’s fourth-largest, behind Whole Foods, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and One Medical.
EU antitrust authorities are expected to rule on the iRobot deal by July 6, while the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating the iRobot acquisition and potentially filing an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon.