A brand new letter penned by Senate and House Democrats accuses Amazon of “anticompetitive” practices in its bid to buy Roomba-maker, iRobot, for $1.7 billion. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is main the cost to persuade the Federal Trade Commission to reject the deal, in line with a report from Axios.
“Rather than compete in a fair marketplace on its own merits, Amazon is following a familiar anticompetitive playbook: leveraging its massive market share and access to capital to buy or suppress popular products,” notes the letter cosigned by fellow congressional Democrats, Mondaire Jones, Mark Pocan Jesus G. “Chuy” Garcia, Pramila Jayapal and Katie Porter.
The report arrives throughout a second of elevated regulatory scrutiny for the web retail large. Both the deliberate iRobot and One Medical offers have raised antitrust considerations amongst lawmakers. The FTC has notable already been investigating each. Amazon has seemingly been extra aggressively pursuing acquisitions below new CEO Andy Jassy, at a time when the regulatory physique has pushed to dam related offers by massive tech. Most notably, FTC chairwoman Lina Khan not too long ago sued to dam Meta/Facebook’s acquisition of VR agency, Within Unlimited, citing anticompetitive considerations.
The deal is on the middle of Amazon’s plans to aggressively push into the house robotics class, in a lot the identical manner its 2012 acquisition of Kiva Systems helped it change into a dominant power in industrial robotics. Amazon’s providing within the class is at present restricted to the house robotic Astro, however folding iRobot into the division would discover the agency dominating the house in a single day. iRobot’s Roomba is the uncommon house robotic that has managed to interrupt into mainstream use.
Given Amazon’s historical past and iRobot’s house mapping, the deal has additionally raised concern amongst privateness advocates.
TechCrunch has reached out to each Amazon and Senator Warren’s workplace for remark.