According to a securities filing, US antitrust authorities are reportedly looking into Amazon.com Inc. offer to purchase iRobot Corp., the company that makes the Roomba.
As per iRobot, the Federal Trade Commission formally asked both firms this week for paperwork outlining the goals and justifications behind the proposed USD 1.7 billion merger due to the most recent Amazon-related probe being conducted by the FTC.
Additionally, the organization is also looking into Amazon's USD 3.9 billion acquisition of 1Life Healthcare Inc., which runs One Medical primary-care facilities in 25 U.S. regions.
According to the iRobot petition, both businesses agreed to assist the FTC in its inquiry and promised to respond to its inquiries as soon as possible. Furthermore, the FTC can file a lawsuit to stop a merger after an investigation, which can last up to a year, or it can request concessions like divestitures or decide not to take any action, enabling the deal to go through.
Notably, FTC which is led by Chairwoman Lina Khan is adopting a pessimistic stance against technology behemoth acquisitions, claiming that the agreements frequently harm competition and give the incumbent businesses power over important customer data.
Recently, the FTC also filed a lawsuit to stop Meta Platforms Inc. from acquiring Within Unlimited Inc. and its specialized fitness program for virtual reality, called Supernatural.
According to Amazon, it has been extremely excellent stewards of people’s data across all of its businesses, and the company isn't buying iRobot to spy on customers inside their homes.
For the unversed, Roomba is a consumer-focused vacuum cleaner that uses cameras, artificial intelligence, sensors, and machine learning to gather information about the homes of its customers.
Based on the legal filing that Amazon filed last month; the FTC is further conducting a separate investigation into the Prime membership program.