A month after disclosing the acquisition deal, both iRobot and Amazon will now be deeply investigated by the FTC – say two persons familiar with the matter.
FTC is keen to learn how this deal would impact Amazon’s market share and also its power in the connected device market. Amazon is already under the wider investigation of data security and handling in various fields.
Investigating Amazon X iRobot
Tech giants like Google, Meta, Apple, Amazon, etc., are always under investigation by regulators, who constantly watch their actions on anti-competitive practises. In this pursuit, Amazon is freshly being probed by Federal Trade Commission about its acquisition of iRobot.
iRobot is the company behind the smart vacuum cleaner Roomba, which is quite popular in many states. And Amazon acquiring it triggered a probe by the trade regulator, which is said to begin investigating the deal deeply, as Politico reported.
Some of the concerns FTC may look into this deal is – how the market share of Amazon will be driven by this and its share in the connected device market. Amazon too, has a high-end robot vacuum selling on its platform, but it isn’t as popular as iRobot’s Roomba.
So this would rise the question that Amazon is purchasing the competition rather than fairly competing in the market. Also, FTC is checking how this deal would increase Amazon’s smart device lineup, which currently includes Ring security cameras and the Alexa digital assistant.
Aside from this, FTC is also probing Amazon’s takeover of 1Life Healthcare – which operates the primary care provider One Medical. Both companies have said that FTC has started an in-depth review of its takeover by Amazon.
And the irony is that Amazon, too, has a similar service that is shutting down due to lack of popularity. Aside from drawing attention from FTC over the Illegal takeover, the regulator is also concerned about the data Amazon will have in its hands after acquiring them.
This could be the sensitive home map of users through Roomba and the medical data of people acquired through One Medical. FTC would check how this data could benefit Amazon in its anti-competitive practices.