EU antitrust regulators ask for more info on Amazon’s iRobot acquisition

EU antitrust regulators have postponed their investigation into Amazon’s $1.7 billion acquisition of iRobot, a robot vacuum cleaner maker, due to a lack of information provided by the companies. The European Commission, responsible for overseeing competition in the 27-country bloc, asked Amazon for necessary information to be supplied.

The European Commission has raised concerns that the acquisition could result in reduced competition in the market for robot vacuum cleaners and strengthen Amazon’s already dominant position as an online marketplace provider. This signals the need for a thorough investigation into potential antitrust issues. The investigation delay is a result of Amazon and iRobot’s failure to provide the required information, triggering a merger investigation procedure. Once the missing information is provided, a new deadline will be established for the Commission’s decision.

The European Commission’s warning about diminished competition in the robot vacuum cleaners market suggests that the deal might lead to fewer alternatives for consumers, potentially resulting in higher prices or limited innovation. Moreover, reinforcing Amazon’s market dominance as an online marketplace raises concerns about its impact on other online retailers and the overall competitive landscape.

Overall, the delayed investigation demonstrates the European Commission’s commitment to ensuring fair competition and preventing the concentration of power in the hands of a few dominant players. It underscores the need for companies involved in mergers and acquisitions to comply with regulatory requirements and promptly provide requested information to facilitate a comprehensive review process.