The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is reviewing Amazon’s planned acquisition of iRobot.
The CMA seeks stakeholder input to determine if Amazon’s acquisition of iRobot would cause a “significant decrease of competition” in the U.K.
The CMA hasn’t set a timeline for announcing its investigative decision. Established 30 years ago at MIT, iRobot is best known for its Roomba autonomous vacuum cleaners and mopping devices.
In August, Amazon offered $1.7 billion for publicly traded iRobot, following its steady entry into the smart home and its connections with Roombas. Yet, the megabucks iRobot transaction was expected to bring global regulatory scrutiny against Big Tech.
EU regulators are allegedly ready to scrutinize Amazon’s iRobot acquisition on privacy grounds owing to worries that Amazon may merge data from the two businesses to obtain a competitive advantage. Amazon is scrutinized in its home market for acquisitions, competitiveness, privacy, and more. The FTC is considering investigating Amazon’s iRobot transaction, although it approved Amazon’s $3.9 billion One Medical acquisition.
Antitrust deals plague the U.K. Ofcom announced yesterday that it will investigate the local cloud infrastructure industry, focusing on Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft. The CMA also sees Microsoft’s $68.7 billion Activision offer and Broadcom’s $61 billion VMware acquisition. In addition, the CMA ordered Facebook parent Meta to sell Giphy, which it had purchased for $400 million 18 months earlier.
Today’s revelation doesn’t necessarily indicate Amazon’s iRobot acquisition is in danger, but it shows the U.K.’s interest in Big Tech’s M&A deals. The U.K. may follow suit with EU and U.S. regulators considering in-depth investigations.
Amazon told TechCrunch it is “working closely with the relevant regulators in their evaluation of the merger” and that consumers “have numerous alternatives to select from when they buy a vacuum.”