The FTC, Federal Trade Commission in the United States, has asked Amazon to provide information concerning the acquisition of iRobot, a specialist in robot vacuum cleaners, for 1.7 billion dollars.
It’s not a house party for Amazon yet. The e-commerce giant is being closely watched by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after its takeover bid for robot vacuum pioneer iRobot.
For 1.7 billion dollars, Amazon wants to fall into its hands another leading player in the connected home after Ring, a specialist in connected cameras and security. The Seattle company has been trying for several years to carve out a place of choice in home automation, with multiple products offered (cameras, connected doorbell, sensors, sockets, on-board voice assistant, etc.) and it is not to the taste of the FTC.
A worrying “Amazon’s hold” on the connected home
On September 19, the watchdog therefore asked Amazon and iRobot to provide information on the agreement announced in August. The FTC fears that this acquisition will give Amazon too much power over the home automation sector with a very wide range of connected devices.
This investigation follows a request filed by around twenty organizations defense of privacy and workers who are worried about the windfall of personal data that would then be in the hands of such a player in a monopoly position. They fear “a grip of Amazon on the ecosystem of home automation technology” and call for the termination of the agreement to avoid such anti-competitive concentration, according to them.
By owning the manufacturer of Roomba robot vacuum cleaners, Amazon would complete its panoply of connected objects for the home, with moreover one of the tenors of the market and a specialist in embedded technology. But this is not the only sector that interests the American group and worries the authorities: Amazon is also awaiting approval for the takeover of One Medical, owned by 1Life Healthcare and a specialist in medical care. The FTC also sent a request for more details on this agreement which would then allow Amazon to put a little more foot in personal health, in particular with its Halo bracelets which must manage everything from the individual.