Thu. Feb 22nd, 2024

The European Union (EU) antitrust regulator is set to block Amazon‘s $1.4 billion acquisition of iRobot, the manufacturer Roomba vacuum cleaner, as per a report. The Euroepan Commission has until February 14 to either approve or reject the deal.
Citing three people familiar with the matter, a report by Reuters said that the e-commerce giant declined to offer remedies, which were due by January 10, to address European Commission‘s concerns, defying a warning that the deal could restrict competition in the market for robot vacuum cleaners.
The agency is reportedly considering vetoing the deal, which could have implications for future Amazon purchases of online competitors, eventually raising the bar for future Amazon acquisitions for online rivals as EU antitrust enforcers may likely demand major remedies in exchange for their green light.
The regulator’s main concerns were that Amazon may thwart iRobot rivals on its online marketplace, especially in France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
The Commission reportedly feels that the lengthy enforcement process and the fact that the new legislation has not been challenged in court means that it is better to block the deal now, one of the people was cited as saying.
Amazon announced its intention to acquire iRobot in August last year with an aim to expand its range of smart devices, including the Alexa voice assistant, smart thermostats, security devices, and wall-mounted smart displays.
Other ‘failed’ deals
This potential rejection would mark the second instance in recent weeks of a technology deal facing regulatory obstacles. In December, Adobe abandoned its $20 billion agreement to purchase design software company Figma, citing uncertainty regarding antitrust approvals in Europe and the UK.
Amazon had already reduced its offer by approximately 15% in July due to iRobot’s increased debt. At the current trading price of $16.27, iRobot shares have fallen by over 66% since the acquisition was announced. This is significantly lower than the amended price of $51.75 per share that Amazon had agreed to pay.

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