By Ben Glickman

 

The European Commission said Monday that Amazon's proposed deal to buy Roomba-maker iRobot may limit competition in the robot vacuum cleaner market.

European regulators said that they had informed Amazon of the commission's preliminary view following an investigation of the proposed acquisition.

The EC said that the deal may restrict competition in the making of robot vacuum cleaners and could allow Amazon to fortify its position as an online marketplace services provider.

The commission said Amazon may have the "ability and the incentive" to foreclose iRobot's rivals by preventing them from selling on Amazon's platform.

"We continue to work through the process with the European Commission and are focused on addressing its questions and any identified concerns at this stage," an Amazon spokesperson said in response to the release.

The spokesperson said iRobot faces "intense competition" in the market for vacuum cleaner products and that the company believes it can invest in iRobot while lowering prices for consumers.

The acquisition by Amazon, announced in August 2022, was cleared by U.K. regulators in June, but faces an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

The EC has until Feb. 14 to make a final decision on the deal.

IRobot shares tumbled about 18%, to $34.02, following the news. The stock has surged 36% over the last five trading days, after Reuters reported last week that the deal was set to get unconditional approval from European regulators.

 

Write to Ben Glickman at ben.glickman@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 27, 2023 13:44 ET (18:44 GMT)

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