EU regulators plan to block Amazon’s $1.7B iRobot acquisition: report

The European Union's competition watchdog plans to block Amazon's $1.7 billion deal with robot vacuum cleaner maker iRobot. The Wall Street Journal reported This was disclosed on Thursday, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Shares of vacuum cleaner maker Roomba plunged 40% to $14 after the bell.

European Commission officials met with Amazon representatives on Thursday to discuss the deal, the report said.

The tech giant has given European Union antitrust regulators a bailout until a Jan. 10 deadline to address concerns that the deal could reduce competition and strengthen the dominance of Amazon's e-commerce platform. No measures were proposed.

Amazon was informed during the meeting that the deal could be rejected, the WSJ reported.

Amazon declined to comment on the report.

“If the goal is to increase competition in the home robotics space, this doesn't make sense,” said Matt Schruers, president of the Computer and Communications Industry Association, a technology lobby.

“Blocking this deal could reduce consumer choice, and regulators cannot hide that fact,” Schreers added.

Roomba vacuum cleaner stock prices plummeted after hours. Getty Images

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Amazon did not present any remedies to European Union antitrust regulators. Reuters

The e-commerce giant revealed plans to acquire iRobot in August 2022, with the aim of adding to its portfolio of smart devices, including Alexa voice assistants, smart thermostats, security devices, and wall-mounted smart displays.

The European Commission, the EU's competition watchdog, had until February 14 to decide whether to approve the deal.



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