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European regulators raise fears over Amazon acquisition of iRobot
European regulators put Amazon’s acquisition of iRobot at risk
The European Commission has raised concerns about the Amazon takeover of iRobot, the maker of Roomba vacuum cleaners.
The body said the deal could hinder competition in the robot vacuum cleaner market.
European regulators informed Amazon of their preliminary view following an investigation into the proposed acquisition.
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The EC said the takeover could limit competition in the production of robot vacuum cleaners and strengthen Amazon's position as an online marketplace services provider.
The commission suggested Amazon might have both the "ability and the incentive" to impede iRobot's rivals from selling on its platform, potentially leading to foreclosure.
While UK regulators cleared the acquisition in June, the US Federal Trade Commission is conducting an ongoing investigation.
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An Amazon spokesperson said: “We continue to work through the process with the European Commission and are focused on addressing its questions and any identified concerns at this stage."
According to the spokesperson, iRobot faces fierce competition in the vacuum cleaner products market.
They added the company is confident that it can invest in iRobot while reducing consumer prices.
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The final decision from the European Commission is expected by February 14.
iRobot shares experienced an 18 percent drop to $34.02 following the news.
It has surged 36 percent in the last five trading days due to previous reports indicating unconditional approval from European regulators.
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