Salem Radio Network News Tuesday, September 26, 2023


Amazon’s iRobot deal faces July 6 EU antitrust deadline

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU antitrust regulators will decide by July 6 whether to clear Inc’s $1.7 billion acquisition of the maker of robot vacuum cleaner iRobot Corp, according to a European Commission filing on Thursday.

U.S. online retailer Amazon announced the takeover in August last year that will boost its portfolio of smart devices which include Alexa voice assistant, smart thermostats, security devices, wall mounted smart displays and a canine-like robot called Astro.

The EU competition enforcer can either clear the deal with or without remedies after its preliminary review or it can open a four-month long investigation if it has serious concerns.

Regulators on both sides of the Atlantic are wary of Big Tech acquiring smaller rivals especially those with access to big volumes of user data, and tend to demand remedies in return for approving such deals.

Amazon has said it would continue to supply iRobot products to other retailers and keep them compatible with other companies’ voice assistants.

Amazon’s devices unit only makes up a fraction of company revenue for now. Critics say the iRobot acquisition presents a privacy nightmare because it would expand personal home information in the company’s arsenal.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)


Editorial Cartoons

View More »

Michael Ramirez
Wed, Sep 20, 2023