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U.S. begins antitrust review of Amazon’s takeover of vacuum maker iRobot - Politico

·1 min read
FILE PHOTO: Amazon logo at the company's logistics center in Bretigny-sur-Orge

(Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has begun a review of Amazon.com's $1.7 billion takeover of robot vacuum maker iRobot Corp to decide if the deal violates antitrust law, Politico reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The U.S. anti-trust body’s iRobot review is wide-ranging and would include both head-to-head competition and whether the deal would illegally boost Amazon's market share in both the connected device market and the retail market in general, the report added.

Amazon declined to comment, while iRobot and the FTC did not immediately respond to a Reuters' request for comment.

The e-commerce giant has steadily expanded its devices lineup with more speakers showcasing its Alexa voice assistant and with home security doorbells and cameras from Ring, which it acquired in 2018.

Amazon in August announced its all-cash deal of $61 per share to acquire iRobot, maker of the robotic vacuum cleaner Roomba.

The world's largest online retailer is pushing to expand its stable of smart home devices as well as expanding the e-commerce giant's virtual healthcare and adding brick-and-mortar doctors' offices for the first time.

The online retailer in July had agreed to buy primary care provider One Medical.

One Medical on Friday said the U.S. anti-trust body had sought more information from the company and Amazon about the primary care provider's $3.49 billion acquisition by the online retailer.

(Reporting by Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru)