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Amazon has announced that it will not acquire iRobot due to regulatory concerns raised by the European Union and the Federal Trade Commission. The deal, which was first announced in 2022, would have seen iRobot's self-driving Roomba vacuum join Amazon's growing list of connected home products. However, regulators warned that the acquisition could restrict competition in the market for robot vacuum cleaners. This move by Amazon reflects the increasing regulatory scrutiny faced by technology companies worldwide.
Amazon said that rather than restrict competition, the deal would have given iRobot more resources to compete with other robotics companies.
Amazon's decision to abandon the iRobot acquisition is a rare admission of defeat for the company. It highlights how tech giants like Amazon are being forced to adjust their business practices, products, and policies to comply with stricter regulations. This is particularly evident in the European Union, where oversight of the tech sector is expected to intensify with the implementation of the Digital Services Act. Other companies, such as Adobe, have also faced challenges in completing acquisitions due to regulatory scrutiny.
Amazon is not the only company facing hurdles completing acquisitions. In December, Adobe, the maker of Photoshop and Illustrator, scrapped a $20 billion takeover of Figma, a maker of design collaboration tools, after it was questioned by regulators in the United States, the European Union and Britain.