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iRobot cuts 31 percent staff after Amazon merger collapses

Irobot store entrance in Moscow city.

iRobot cuts 31 percent staff after Amazon merger collapses

iRobot said its planned acquisition by Amazon has collapsed, which means a 31 percent reduction in its workforce.

The job cuts come after the European Union indicated it would block the deal, citing regulatory concerns.

This setback has led the Chairman and CEO of iRobot, Colin Angle, to resign.

The acquisition, initially publicized in August 2022, was set to value the Massachusetts-based company at $1.7 billion. 

However, with the deal's collapse, iRobot's stock plummeted by 19 percent in Monday's (January 29) market.

The Roomba vacuum maker has declared a strategic shift from non-floorcare products, such as air purifiers and lawnmowers. 

In November, EU regulators said the Amazon merger could stifle competition in the robot vacuum sector.

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They said the merger would allow Amazon to limit other companies from selling on its platform. 

The e-commerce giant also failed to meet a deadline to address these regulatory concerns.

An Amazon executive said: "Mergers and acquisitions like this help companies like iRobot better compete in the global marketplace, particularly against companies, and from countries, that aren’t subject to the same regulatory requirements in fast-moving technology segments like robotics.

"Undue and disproportionate regulatory hurdles discourage entrepreneurs, who should be able to see acquisition as one path to success, and that hurts both consumers and competition—the very things that regulators say they’re trying to protect.” 

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