EU opens in-depth antitrust probe into Amazon’s iRobot deal

EU opens in-depth antitrust probe into Amazon’s iRobot deal

A vacuuming Roomba mannequin robotic is displayed at iRobot headquarters in Bedford, Massachusetts

Scott Eells | Bloomberg | Getty Photos

The European Fee said Thursday that it is opened a complete and “in-depth” investigation into Amazon‘s deliberate $1.7 billion acquisition of Roomba maker iRobot.

The manager arm of the EU stated it was involved the transaction would possibly limit competitors available in the market for robotic vacuum cleaners, and would additional strengthen Amazon’s place as a web based market supplier.

The Fee, like its U.S. antitrust counterpart, has the ability to dam the proposed acquisition. Shares of iRobot had been little modified on the information.

Among the many Fee’s considerations are that Amazon would be capable to engineer search ends in favor of iRobot, leaving rivals like Shark and Dyson at an obstacle in advertising and marketing to Amazon’s tens of millions of customers.

Issues had been additionally raised about Amazon’s use of iRobot consumer information, which the Fee stated would possibly present the corporate “with an vital benefit” over rivals and “elevate obstacles to entry and enlargement” for present or future rivals.

“The Fee will now perform an in-depth investigation into the consequences of the proposed transaction to find out whether or not its preliminary competitors considerations are confirmed,” the assertion stated.

Amazon introduced the iRobot deal final 12 months as a part of an effort to increase its presence within the good dwelling. The Competitors and Markets Authority, Britain’s antitrust watchdog, cleared the deal in June. It is nonetheless below evaluate by the U.S. Federal Commerce Fee, which has requested data from iRobot a number of occasions on the deal, in accordance with regulatory filings.

FTC chair Lina Khan penned a widely-cited paper on Amazon’s probably anticompetitive habits whereas at Yale Legislation College, and Amazon has sought to have Khan recused from any FTC probes into the e-commerce firm.

“We proceed to work by means of the method with the European Fee and are centered on addressing its questions and any recognized considerations at this stage,” an Amazon spokesperson advised CNBC in an announcement.

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