Jan 29, 2024 - Business

Amazon cancels $1.4 billion acquisition of Roomba maker iRobot

Animated illustration of a roomba moving toward a wall that looks like the European Union flag and hitting it three times.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Amazon and Roomba maker iRobot on Monday said that they'll terminate their $1.4 billion merger agreement, due to opposition from European antitrust regulators.

Why it matters: This is the first time Amazon has ever been stopped from buying another company.

Backstory: The deal originally was announced in mid-2022 with a $1.7 billion price-tag, with Amazon hoping to expand a smart home device portfolio that already included Ring and Alexa.

  • EU antitrust regulators expressed concern that Amazon would favor iRobot products over rivals on its marketplace.
  • The deal had received U.K. antitrust approval, and was under active investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

What Amazon is saying, per a statement: "Undue and disproportionate regulatory hurdles discourage entrepreneurs, who should be able to see acquisition as one path to success, and that hurts both consumers and competition—the very things that regulators say they're trying to protect."

The bottom line: As part of the deal termination, Amazon will pay $94 million to iRobot, whose shares are down more than 18% in pre-market trading.

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