EU opens in-depth investigation into iRobot and Amazon

EU opens in-depth investigation into iRobot and Amazon

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into the acquisition of robot vacuum cleaner maker iRobot by Amazon.

A preliminary investigation saw concerns by the Commission that the deal would allow Amazon to restrict competition in the market for the iRobot Roomba robot vacuum cleaners in several European countries. The integration with Alexa is also seen as a key concern.

The detailed investigation will look at whether its initial competition concerns are confirmed. The Commission closely cooperated with other competition authorities during the initial investigation and will continue such cooperation during the in-depth investigation.

“Amazon is both an online marketplace and a retailer. We are concerned that, by acquiring iRobot, Amazon may use such dual role to foreclose access by iRobot’s rivals to its marketplace,” said Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President in charge of competition policy.

“With our in-depth investigation, we will also investigate whether Amazon would use data collected by iRobot to strengthen its position as online marketplace provider. We want to ensure that the acquisition of iRobot by Amazon does not have a negative impact on businesses and consumers, by distorting competition on the relevant markets,” she said.;



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