The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) Tuesday announced the launch of its investigation into Amazon.com, Inc.’s $1.7 billion acquisition of iRobot Corporation, which is known for its Roomba robot vacuum cleaners. The CMA’s findings will allow it to determine whether Amazon’s acquisition of iRobot will reduce market competition within the UK.
The CMA must decide whether this Phase 1 investigation will be escalated to a Phase 2 investigation by June 16, 2023. However, this current deadline “may change during the merger assessment process.”
Amazon announced its acquisition of iRobot on August 5, 2022. In September 2022, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requested additional information and documents from Amazon and iRobot in order to review the merger agreement. The FTC is allegedly deciding whether to challenge Amazon’s acquisition of iRobot.
Amazon’s announcement of its intended acquisition of iRobot faced public scrutiny due to concerns over this merger expanding Amazon’s monopoly and “the company’s reach further into people’s lives[.]” Amazon has also faced concerns regarding customers’ health data privacy and healthcare accessibility related to its acquisition of One Medical, which was announced in July 2022 and completed in February 2023.