Bloomberg: Amazon’s iRobot Deal Seen Facing Tough FTC Antitrust Review
Amazon.com Inc. is barrelling ahead with an aggressive acquisition strategy despite intense antitrust scrutiny in Washington, with its $1.65 billion deal to buy Roomba vacuum maker iRobot Corp. as the latest example.
Antitrust experts say the deal is expected to draw a tough review from the US Federal Trade Commission led by Chair Lina Khan, a critic of the e-commerce platform’s market dominance. The agency will also review Amazon’s $3.49 billion deal last month to buy 1Life Healthcare, the parent of One Medical. The FTC didn’t challenge Amazon’s purchase of MGM Studios earlier this year, but that was before Khan had a Democratic majority on the commission.
Amazon is “basically taking out their largest competition in a market they want to dominate,” said Sarah Miller, executive director of anti-monopoly advocacy group American Economic Liberties Project. “Buying what is your biggest competitor should be an antitrust violation.”
Miller from Economic Liberties noted that bipartisan legislation introduced in Congress would bar Amazon from this kind of acquisition.
“Congress really needs to act at this point,” she said. “The FTC cannot be the only one in the arena.”