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Amazon's $1.7 Billion Proposed Purchase of Roomba Maker Under FTC Investigation

Tuesday September 20, 2022. 10:00 PM , from Slashdot
Federal antitrust enforcers are investigating Amazon proposal to buy Roomba maker iRobot, according to a securities filing. WSJ: The Federal Trade Commission this week formally requested documents from both companies explaining the proposed $1.7 billion deal's purpose and rationale, iRobot disclosed on Tuesday. The FTC's review is the latest investigation involving Amazon. The agency also is examining Amazon's $3.9 billion deal to buy 1Life Healthcare, which operates One Medical primary-care clinics in 25 U.S. markets.

The filing by iRobot said both companies would cooperate with the FTC's investigation and expect to promptly reply to the FTC's request. After an investigation, which typically takes up to a year, the FTC can sue to block a merger, seek concessions such as divestitures or decline to take action, allowing a deal to close. The FTC under Chairwoman Lina Khan is taking a skeptical view of acquisitions by technology giants, saying the deals often hurt competition and give the incumbent firms control over valuable consumer data. The agency recently sued to block Meta Platforms from acquiring Within Unlimited and its virtual-reality dedicated fitness app, Supernatural. Amazon says it has been 'very good stewards of peoples' data across all of our businesses' and that it isn't acquiring iRobot to gather intelligence from inside customers' homes. The Roomba is a consumer-oriented vacuum cleaner that collects data about its users' homes using cameras, sensors, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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