The media reported that the antitrust regulators of the European Union temporarily halted their investigation in connection with Amazon’s acquisition of the manufacturer of robot vacuum cleaners iRobot in a deal worth $1.7 billion.
According to information available to journalists, the European Commission, which is responsible for compliance with competition law in the EU, postponed to a later date the adoption of the final decision on the e-commerce giant’s acquisition manufacturer of robot vacuum cleaners. The media reported that the investigation process was suspended due to the lack of important information from the companies involved.
According to journalists, the European Commission initially set December 13 as the deadline for making a decision on the merger of Amazon and iRobot. However, these chronological limits will not be met because of the suspension of the investigation process due to the fact that the companies did not provide the important requested information in time. Such kind of failures are standard practice in cases when the merger participants do not fully respond to the information requirements of the European Commission.
The regulator launched an in-depth investigation into Amazon’s acquisition of iRobot in July. Then a statement was made about the identification of the initial problems with competition and announced the intention to consider in detail these aspects of the commercial plan of the technology giant.
Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president in charge of competition policy at the European Commission, announcing the launch of an in-depth investigation, noted that Amazon is both a retailer and a virtual platform. She said that during the study of the likely consequences of the transaction, there was concern that the technology giant could use the aforementioned dual status in order to restrict the access of iRobot competitors to its marketplace. Margrethe Vestager also said that during the investigation, attention will be paid to whether Amazon will apply the data collected by the manufacturer of robot vacuum cleaners to strengthen its position as a provider of virtual trading platforms.
A representative of the technology giant at the time of the investigation beginning said that the company interacts with the European Commission in the framework of the intention to provide answers to all the questions and concerns of the regulator. He also stated that iRobot, operating in conditions of fierce competition from other manufacturers of vacuum cleaners, offers practical and inventive developments. According to him, the technology giant is able to offer this company a resource base to accelerate the pace of implementation of innovative solutions and provide investments in critical functions while reducing consumer prices.
Amazon first announced its intention to acquire iRobot in August last year. At the same time, the technology giant announced the amount of the transaction equal to $1.7 billion. Amazon initially reported that the implementation of this intention depends on the usual conditions of closures.
iRobot CEO Colin Angle said in August 2022 that the tech giant shares his firm’s passion for thoughtful innovations that expand the space of human activity at home. He also stated that interaction with Amazon is a good solution to continue the mission of the manufacturer of robot vacuum cleaners.