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EU regulators launch antitrust probe into Amazon’s $1.7 billion iRobot deal

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A vacuuming Roomba mannequin robot is displayed at iRobot headquarters in Bedford, Massachusetts

Scott Eells | Bloomberg | Getty Pictures

The European Commission mentioned Thursday that or no longer it is opened a complete and “in-depth” investigation into Amazon‘s planned $1.7 billion acquisition of Roomba maker iRobot.

The manager arm of the EU mentioned it used to be enthusiastic the transaction can also limit opponents within the market for robot vacuum cleaners, and would further toughen Amazon’s diagram as a net marketplace supplier.

The Commission, like its U.S. antitrust counterpart, has the vitality to dam the proposed acquisition. Shares of iRobot were shrimp modified on the news.

Amongst the Commission’s issues are that Amazon would be in a position to engineer search leads to prefer of iRobot, leaving opponents like Shark and Dyson at a pickle in advertising and marketing to Amazon’s millions of customers.

Issues were furthermore raised about Amazon’s utilize of iRobot client records, which the Commission mentioned can also provide the company “with an vital relieve” over opponents and “lift barriers to entry and growth” for most in kind or future opponents.

“The Commission will now enact an in-depth investigation into the outcomes of the proposed transaction to decide on whether or no longer its initial opponents issues are confirmed,” the commentary mentioned.

Amazon¬†equipped¬†the iRobot deal final 300 and sixty five days as phase of an effort to amplify its presence within the dapper home. The Competition and Markets Authority, Britain’s antitrust watchdog, cleared the deal in June. Or no longer it is composed below review by the U.S. Federal Alternate Commission, which has requested records from iRobot more than one cases on the deal, constant with regulatory filings.

FTC chair Lina Khan penned a extensively-cited paper on Amazon’s potentially anticompetitive conduct while at Yale Regulation College, and Amazon has sought to own Khan recused from any FTC probes into the e-commerce company.

“We proceed to work by the procedure with the European Commission and are targeted on addressing its questions and any identified issues at this stage,” an Amazon spokesperson told CNBC in an announcement.

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