FTC probes Amazon's $1.7 billion acquisition of Roomba maker iRobot

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Washington (CNN Business)The Federal Trade Commission is taking a person look astatine Amazon's projected acquisition of iRobot, the institution that produces the Roomba bid of automated vacuum cleaners, according to a fiscal disclosure connected Tuesday.

On Monday, the FTC requested much accusation from some companies astir the $1.7 cardinal deal, according to an capitalist filing from iRobot, successful what's known arsenic a "second request" and an indicator of deeper scrutiny by antitrust officials.

The probe highlights however FTC officials are intimately reviewing Amazon's merger enactment pursuing calls by user advocates for the iRobot woody to beryllium blocked.

    Earlier this month, much than 2 twelve groups wrote to the bureau alleging the woody could assistance Amazon "entrench their monopoly powerfulness successful the integer economy." For starters, they argued, Amazon could question to merchantability Roombas astatine a nonaccomplishment oregon successful transportation with its Prime subscription work and perchance thrust different astute vacuum makers retired of business. Furthermore, they claimed, Amazon's power of Roombas could springiness it entree to elaborate information astir consumers' location layouts, interiors and manner that could payment its e-commerce concern astatine the disbursal of rivals that bash not person entree to that trove of data.

      Amazon didn't instantly respond to a petition for remark connected the FTC probe

      In summation to the iRobot deal, the FTC has besides sent a 2nd petition connected Amazon's projected acquisition of wellness attraction supplier One Medical for $3.9 billion, according to a abstracted capitalist filing this month. FTC 2nd requests tin lengthen a merger's clip to adjacent due to the fact that they prohibit deals from being consummated until the companies person complied with regulators' accusation demands.

      Amazon has antecedently called for FTC Chair Lina Khan to recuse herself from each cases involving the company, claiming that her past arsenic a vocal tech manufacture professional should disqualify her. The FTC has antecedently declined to remark connected that request.

          In 2017, Khan published an influential insubstantial successful the Yale Law Journal highlighting imaginable antitrust concerns with respect to Amazon. The insubstantial is wide credited with having jump-started a nationalist statement astir US antitrust instrumentality and whether it is capable to clasp Big Tech platforms accountable.

          Last month, the FTC announced it is considering drafting caller regulations for US businesses that could bounds however they collect, usage and stock consumers' idiosyncratic information. The regulations could impact companies crossed the economy, including Amazon.

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