After Amazon made a blockbuster deal to acquire iRobot, maker of the Roomba In August, it looked like Amazon would suddenly dominate the consumer robotics industry. However, earlier this month This is reported by Politico that the deal won’t happen unless the Federal Trade Commission approves.
Already a few weeks old, like a Roomba in a dusty basement, the FTC investigation already looks like it won’t end without some serious action. on tuesday The FTC announced in a regulatory filing that he needs more information before granting Amazon’s favor.
The filing cites a federal regulation that specifies that the FTC requests “any materials soliciting the publication, mailing or transmission to holders of securities.”
According to the Associated Press, the FTC is requesting more data on the deal “amid growing concerns” about Amazon’s “market power.” The FTC appears to be considering the iRobot acquisition along with investigating other recent blockbuster Amazon deals such as acquisition of One Medical.
The FTC investigation comes after about 20 labor and private groups raised the alarm to oppose the takeover, asking antitrust regulators to intervene. Reuters reports. Among their biggest concerns is the idea that iRobot’s popular Roombas and other consumer robotics could collect even more data for Amazon, where it already dominates the retail space, allowing it to further strangle rivals.
The Today’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings show that Amazon and iRobot plan to cooperate with the FTC investigation. Amazon declined to comment to Ars, and iRobot referred Ars to itself investor page documenting all of its SEC filings.
While much of the focus is on what Amazon gets from the buyout, in another SEC filingiRobot shared with employees and contractors what they expect from the deal:
“Amazon has an inventive, customer-centric, long-term visionary culture where entrepreneurs thrive,” iRobot wrote in a letter to employees. “Joining the Amazon family will give us the opportunity to accelerate our business and delight our customers with Amazon’s resources and technology.”
Until the FTC completes its investigation, the deal cannot close. The AP reports that the data provided to the FTC could prompt the agency to try to block the buyout in court, seek legal remedies from the tech companies, or take no action at all and simply let the deal go ahead as planned.
The FTC declined to comment to Ars. Politico previously reported on the investigation’s planned timeline, however, reporting that “the companies are preparing for a potentially lengthy, difficult investigation, according to two people with knowledge of the investigation.”