Amazon’s proposed $1.7 billion acquisition of Roomba maker iRobot faces opposition from federal lawmakers including Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who represents the Seattle company’s home district.
In a letter to Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan, made public Thursday morning, Warren, Jayapal and U.S. Reps. Mondaire Jones, Katie Porter, Mark Pocan, and Jesús G. “Chuy” García asked the FTC to oppose the deal.
An Amazon spokesperson said in a statement, “The letter contains a number of falsehoods and is broadly inaccurate. We will continue to cooperate with regulators, and we are confident that this deal is procompetitive and will make customers lives better and easier.”
The letter cites factors including iRobot’s estimated 75% share of the smart vacuum market by revenue. It reads, in part:
Amazon’s proposed acquisition of iRobot Corp. presents a number of antitrust and consumer-protection concerns, which the FTC should closely examine when determining whether this merger should proceed. We have long urged the agency to use its broad authority to prevent dominant companies like Amazon from using their market power to buy their way out of competing. These actions are consistent with Section 7 of the Clayton Act, which prohibits any acquisition whose effect “may be substantially to lessen competition, or to tend to create a monopoly” in “any line of commerce or in any activity affecting commerce.”
Announced in August, the iRobot deal would be Amazon’s fourth-largest acquisition ever, behind its $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods, the $8.45 billion deal to buy MGM, and its pending $3.9 billion One Medical acquisition.
Axios first reported the news Thursday morning.
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