Amazon and iRobot Receive Second FTC Request Regarding Planned Merger

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Amazon and iRobot each received a second request from the Federal Trade Commission for additional information and documents regarding their proposed $1.7 billion merger, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday.

Bedford-based iRobot, which makes the Roomba vacuum and other home robots, said “both parties expect to respond quickly” to the request and “continue to work cooperatively with the FTC in its review.” .

The FTC’s request delays the closing of the acquisition while the agency reviews the deal, which was due for regulatory review. Amazon and iRobot are “preparing for a potentially long and arduous investigation,” according to a recent Politico report citing two people with knowledge of the matter.

FTC staff typically “engage in (sometimes quite extensive) negotiations with merging companies” as part of the second application process, according to the agency.

Bruce Hoffman, former head of the FTC’s competition bureau, told Axios last week, “When you get a second request, that’s a huge event.”

“Suddenly your trade goes from closing in five weeks to closing in a year,” he said.

The FTC is expected to review several anti-competitive aspects of the iRobot deal, including whether it will give Amazon an unfair advantage in the smart device market. Data privacy experts are also concerned that consumer data collected by the Roomba vacuum could give Amazon an edge over other online retailers.

Both iRobot and Amazon told The Globe that data collected by the Roomba will not be used for targeted advertising or marketing purposes.

Amazon also received a second request from the FTC regarding its proposed deal to buy the One Medical healthcare service.


Anissa Gardizy can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @anissagardizy8 and on Instagram @anissagardizy.journalism.

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