The proposed $1 billion purchase of iRobot by Amazon has been approved by the U.K. antitrust regulator, which came to the conclusion that the transaction “would not lead to competition concerns in the U.K.”
The $1.7 billion robot hoover company iRobot acquisition by Amazon was first announced in August of last year, but authorities were always going to be wary of the huge transaction. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States is also considering opening an official inquiry into the deal. The European Commission (EC) will decide by July 6 whether to approve the deal (with or without remedies) or begin a thorough investigation.
In short, it’s difficult to know whether Amazon’s purchase of iRobot will survive regulators elsewhere, but today’s news from the U.K. — which recently blocked the Microsoft / Activision deal (subject to appeal) — could be a harbinger of what’s to come elsewhere, given that regulators often co-operate and share notes in such scenarios. But nothing is certain here.
“The merging parties will no doubt take comfort from the CMA clearance although they will also know that the different regulatory agencies do not always operate in complete lock-step with one another,” said Alex Haffner, competition partner at U.K.-based law firm Fladgate in a statement made available to TechCrunch like purchase of iRobot.
Since announcing in April that it was investigating the transaction, the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has concluded that Amazon purchasing iRobot would not have a negative impact on competition in the country. This is, in large part, because purchase of iRobot has numerous competitors and a “modest” market presence in the United Kingdom, according to the CMA. But on top of that, concerns that Amazon might use its omnipresent online marketplace to “disadvantage” iRobot rivals by demoting their presence were unfounded, as Amazon would “lack the incentive to do so” as the U.K. robot vacuum cleaner market is small.Purchase of irobot can leads huge stock change.