Daily Management Review

EU Antitrust Authorities Warn That Amazon's Acquisition Of iRobot Could Limit Competition


EU Antitrust Authorities Warn That Amazon's Acquisition Of iRobot Could Limit Competition
EU antitrust authorities warned on Monday that Amazon's $1.4 billion purchase of iRobot, a company that makes robot vacuums, might push out competitors' robot cleaners from its online store.

In August of last year, Amazon made the announcement in the midst of global regulatory scrutiny over Big Tech's acquisition of smaller competitors and amassing vast amounts of data that may strengthen their market domination or enable them to enter new industries.

"Amazon may have the ability and the incentive to foreclose iRobot's rivals by engaging in several foreclosing strategies aimed at preventing rivals from selling RVCs on Amazon's online marketplace and/or at degrading their access to it," the European Commission said in a statement.

According to the EU competition enforcer, robot hoover cleaners (RVCs) are mostly sold in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain through Amazon's online marketplace.

It communicated its concerns to the corporation in a statement of objections. Such a charge sheet gives corporations the opportunity to better address specific issues and potentially obtain unconditional clearance, but it also puts pressure on them to provide remedies.

Amazon stated that it was collaborating with the Commission to resolve its issues.

"iRobot delivers useful and creative goods, but it competes fiercely with other hoover cleaner suppliers. The statement from the company read, "We think Amazon can provide a business like iRobot with the resources to accelerate innovation and invest in critical features while lowering prices for consumers."

Amazon may ask to present its argument in a closed-door hearing.

According to reports last week, the acquisition would receive unanimous approval. The Commission has until February 14th to make a decision.