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The EU is scrutinizing the takeover of iRobot by Amazon: here are its fears< /p> © Lemon squeezer

In August 2022, Amazon announced its plan to buy iRobot, the manufacturer of Roomba vacuum robots, for $1.7 billion. But so far, this acquisition has not yet been completed, since the e-commerce giant must obtain the green light from various regulators around the world, including the European Commission. And indeed, she is concerned about this project. This week, Brussels announced that it had sent a statement of objections to Amazon regarding this proposed takeover.

The Commission considers on a preliminary basis that the takeover of iRobot by Amazon is likely to harm competition in the robot vacuum cleaner market. “Following this in-depth investigation, the Commission is concerned that Amazon may restrict competition in the robot vacuum cleaner markets at European Economic Area (EEA) level and/or at national by preventing suppliers of competing robot vacuum cleaners from exercising effective competition”, indicates the press release from the European Commission.

In essence, this fears that Amazon will use predatory strategies to prevent iRobot's competitors from selling their products on the e-commerce site. Brussels particularly mentions the important place of the Amazon platform in France, Germany, Italy and Spain, both for the purchase of devices and for the discovery of new products. However, Amazon could, for example, use its site to reduce the visibility of competing products.

Amazon must now convince the Commission

The Statement of Objections follows an in-depth investigation by the European Commission, but a final decision has yet to be taken by it. It has until February 14, 2024 to make this decision, which will authorize or not the buyout. Amazon has the possibility to respond to this statement of objections and request a hearing with the Commission.

Quoted by Reuters, the American giant indicates that it is already working with Brussels to respond to these concerns. “iRobot, which faces intense competition from other vacuum cleaner suppliers, offers practical and inventive products. We believe Amazon can provide a company like iRobot with the resources needed to accelerate innovation and invest in critical features while lowering prices for consumers, Amazon said. .

A similar situation for Adobe

Otherwise, it should be noted that the EU is also investigating the proposed takeover of Figma by Adobe. Following an in-depth investigation, the Commission sent a preliminary opinion to Adobe estimating that the acquisition could restrict competition in “the supply of interactive product design tools”, “the supply of tools image editing tools”, and “the provision of raster image editing tools”. A final decision must be made before February 5.

As a reminder, Adobe's $20 billion takeover of Figma was announced in September 2023.

  • Amazon wants to buy iRobot, the manufacturer of Roomba vacuum cleaner robots, for $1.7 billion
  • This buyout must nevertheless await a final decision from the European Commission, at the latest February 14, 2024
  • Brussels has just sent a statement of objections to Amazon and indicates that it fears that the e-commerce giant will use its platform to favor iRobot to the detriment of competing products
  • Amazon says it is already working with the Commission to address these concerns
  • Adobe, which is considering buying Figma, is in a similar situation

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116