FTC reviews Amazon’s $1.7 billion deal to buy iRobot

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FILE – In this Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016, photo, an iRobot Roomba vacuum, left, and a Braava Jet floor cleaner are displayed at the company’s headquarters in Bedford, Mass. The Federal Trade Commission is investigating Amazon’s acquisition of iRobot for $1.7 billion. In a regulatory filing on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, iRobot said it and Amazon had received a request for additional information as part of an FTC review of the merger.Charles Krupa/AP

NEW YORK (AP) — The Federal Trade Commission is investigating the $1.7 billion acquisition of iRobot from Amazon, the latest deal that is under scrutiny by regulators amid growing concerns regarding the firm’s market power.

In a regulatory filing Tuesday, iRobot said it and Amazon received a request for additional information as part of an FTC review of the merger. Earlier this month, securities regulators made a similar request to Amazon and One Medical, the primary healthcare company the e-commerce giant plans to buy for $3.9 billion.

Both Amazon and iRobot said they would cooperate with the FTC review, delaying a deal. Following an investigation, the agency can challenge a merger in court, seek redress, or do nothing, allowing the deal to close. The agency claims that it reserves the right to challenge an agreement even after it is made.

Shortly after the deal was announced in early August, groups calling for tougher antitrust regulations called on the FTC to block the merger, arguing it cemented Amazon’s dominance in the smart home market.

Privacy advocates have also expressed concern that the Seattle-based company is sucking up more consumer information from Roombas, iRobot’s popular vacuum cleaners that can remember a home’s floor plans. They say this feature allows Amazon to target consumers more with ads. Amazon said it wouldn’t.

iRobot and Amazon both declined to comment.