European Commission Delays Investigation into Amazon’s Acquisition of iRobot
Today, the European Commission (EC) announced that it has delayed its investigation into Amazon’s $1.7 billion acquisition of robot vacuum cleaner maker iRobot, due in part to the companies needing to provide requested information.
The EC, which acts as the competition enforcer in the 27-country bloc, revealed it stopped the clock on the investigation on September 8, with effect from August 29. A further delay beyond the EC’s previous deadline of December 13 may be in store.
According to Reuters, the Commission has warned Amazon that their deal may reduce competition in the robot vacuum cleaner market, as well as strengthen their existing online marketplace provider position.
Alex CJ, an anti-trust expert at the University of Law, said “This could be a sign that the EC is keenly examining the implications of Amazon’s acquisition and are looking to ensure that it is not to the detriment of competition”.
Markellos Diorinos, Professor of Business Law at the University of Cambridge, commented “The EC’s continuing investigations are necessary to ensure that Amazon fully complies with anti-trust law”.
This delay is a crucial moment for the iRobot-Amazon deal. We await the decision of the EC to see if Amazon’s pursuit of iRobot will be approved.