The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating Amazon’s $1.7 billion deal to acquire iRobot, the latest in growing scrutiny of the company’s expanding reach.
- Both iRobot and Amazon have received FTC requests for further information related to the recent merger.
- This is the second instance of an FTC review of an Amazon deal this month. The FTC is reviewing Amazon’s attempt to buy One Medical, a primary health care company.
- Amazon and iRobot have said that they will cooperate fully with the investigation, though the FTC review will postpone the completion of Amazon and iRobot’s deal.
Why it’s news
Opponents of the Amazon and iRobot merger were quick to ask for the FTC’s involvement in August when the deal was announced. Amazon has developed a major presence in the smart home market, causing some groups to call for more stringent antitrust regulations.
Critics of the deal have also argued that Amazon’s access to smart vacuum cleaners will give the company the ability to view user’s floor plans and personalize advertisements accordingly.
Amazon has said this will not be part of its plan.
Through a series of strategic buys, the e-commerce giant is on its way to creating a “smart home.” The Amazon Echo sold just under ten million units in the first three months of the year.
Amazon bought video doorbell company Ring in 2018.
Critics grow increasingly worried about privacy concerns. With a floor-mapping vacuum cleaner and a video recording doorbell in its arsenal, Amazon is gaining more access to user’s homes.