Amazon’s bid for iRobot to be blocked?

1 min read

According to reports Amazon's proposed takeover of the vacuum cleaner maker iRobot is set to be blocked by the European Union's competition watchdog.

It would be a real blow to the company which had already received the go-ahead from the UK’s competition watchdog - the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) – which had said that the tech giant’s place in the UK market was "modest" and that it already faced several significant rivals.

iRobot is the manufacturer of the Roomba cleaner, and Amazon was set to acquire the business for £1.4bn in a move that was intended to expand its footprint in the market for smart home appliances.

It appears that European regulators are worried that the acquisition will make it harder for other vacuum-makers to compete and they highlighted the possible influence of Amazon’s e-commerce site in driving sales of ‘preferred’ models.

The news caught many by surprise and iRobot’s shares fell over 40 per cent as the story emerged.

More importantly for the sector, if the deal is blocked it will raise the bar for any future tech company acquisition, not just Amazon’s, for online rivals and could, according to critics, reduce competition in the consumer market.