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Britain investigates Amazon’s $1.7B iRobot purchase

The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is reviewing Amazon’s planned acquisition of iRobot.

The CMA is seeking stakeholder input to determine if Amazon’s acquisition of iRobot would cause a “significant decrease of competition” in the U.K.

The CMA hasn’t set a timeline for announcing its investigative decision.

Smart home
Established 30 years ago at MIT, iRobot is best known for their Roomba autonomous vacuum cleaners and mopping devices.

Amazon offered $1.7 billion for publicly traded iRobot in August, following its steady entry into the smart home and its connections with Roombas. Yet, the megabucks iRobot transaction was expected to bring global regulatory scrutiny against Big Tech.

EU regulators are allegedly ready to scrutinize Amazon’s iRobot acquisition on privacy grounds owing to worries that Amazon may merge data from the two businesses to obtain a competitive advantage. Amazon is under scrutiny in its home market for acquisitions, competitiveness, privacy, and more. The FTC is considering investigating Amazon’s iRobot transaction, although it approved Amazon’s $3.9 billion One Medical acquisition.

Antitrust deals plague the U.K. Ofcom announced yesterday that it will investigate the local cloud infrastructure industry, focusing on Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft. The CMA also sees Microsoft’s $68.7 billion Activision offer and Broadcom’s $61 billion VMware acquisition. The CMA ordered Facebook parent Meta to sell Giphy, which it had purchased for $400 million, 18 months earlier.

Today’s revelation doesn’t necessarily indicate Amazon’s iRobot acquisition is in danger, but it shows the U.K.’s interest in Big Tech’s M&A deals. With EU and U.S. regulators considering in-depth investigations, the U.K. may follow suit.

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