Sen. Warren Asks FTC to Nix Amazon Buy of Roomba Maker


Sen. Elizabeth Warren and 5 members of the Home of Representatives requested the Federal Commerce Fee in a letter Thursday to oppose Amazon’s proposed acquisition of iRobot, the producer of the robotic vacuum Roomba, 

“Given our issues with Amazon’s anticompetitive insurance policies that put customers and their privateness in danger, we urge the FTC to oppose the proposed Amazon-iRobot acquisition,” the lawmakers wrote within the letter, which Axios reported earlier Thursday

In a press release, an Amazon spokesperson pushed again on the claims made by Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and her colleagues. 

“The letter comprises plenty of falsehoods and is broadly inaccurate,” the spokesperson mentioned. “We’ll proceed to cooperate with regulators, and we’re assured that this deal is pro-competitive and can make clients lives higher and simpler.”

The deal, introduced in August, was already beneath scrutiny from the FTC. The company made a second request for data from each Amazon and iRobot as a part of its overview of the deal. The request extends the overview course of and signifies a better stage of scrutiny. The corporate can also be within the technique of buying One Medical, a main care supplier with in-person and telehealth companies. The FTC has additionally made a second request for data in that deal.

The scrutiny comes as lawmakers fear about tech firms extending their attain into ever extra markets. They’re contemplating a slate of antitrust laws aimed toward Large Tech firms. The FTC is chaired by Lina Khan, an antitrust reformer who wrote a authorized evaluation Amazon’s potential monopoly powers. The company is working a broader probe into Amazon’s practices, in addition to an examination of Amazon’s deliberate merger with MGM.

In response to Thursday’s letter, Amazon identified that the lawmakers erred when claiming within the letter that the corporate beforehand tried to compete with iRobot by introducing its Amazon Astro residence and the Terra robotic lawnmower. Astro does not vacuum, and Terra was an iRobot product, not an Amazon machine. Amazon additionally mentioned that the Roomba competes with all vacuum merchandise, not simply robotic ones. 

The corporate additionally pushed again on the concept it buys after which closes down rivals, citing Ring, Tablet Pack and Entire Meals as examples of firms it acquired and continues to run. 

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