Amazon just announced that it's canceling its plans to acquire Roomba maker iRobot. The Amazon-iRobot deal has been a hot topic since its announcement back in July 2022. The EU has been preparing to block the deal for Amazon's potential to delist or reduce rival robot vacuum visibility on its marketplace.
The EU's executive body, the European Commission, has aggressively put its foot down to prevent Amazon from having too much control over the marketplace. Regulatory examinations repeatedly brought the purchase price down from an initial $1.7 billion valuation before the deal was ultimately scrapped today. This merger would have given Amazon a sizable R&D boost with its moves into robotics and the existing Alexa smart home platform framework. iRobot manufactures products including air purifiers and robot lawnmowers.
Unfortunately, this deal falling through has already impacted iRobot's stock with a 10% drop this morning. Amazon will pay iRobot a $94 million termination fee. iRobot will lay off 31% of its employees (350 people) and its chair and CEO, Colin Angle, will step down effective immediately.
Amazon's no stranger to acquisitions. Between 2017 and 2019 Amazon purchased Blink, Ring, and Eero to bring their products into the Alexa smart home. These mergers went smoothly and Amazon still sells the best security cameras from competitors like Arlo and Eufy as well as rival mesh Wi-Fi systems.
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Hunter Fenollol is a Senior Editor for Tom’s Guide. He specializes in smart home gadgets and appliances. Prior to joining the team, Hunter reviewed computers, wearables, and mixed reality gear for publications that include CNN Underscored, Popular Mechanics, and Laptop Magazine. When he’s not testing out the latest cooking gadgets, you can likely find him playing a round of golf or out with friends feeding his paycheck to a QuickHit slot machine.
Hunter started his career as an intern at Tom’s Guide back in 2019 while in college. He graduated from Long Island University Post with a degree in Communications and minor in Advertising. He has been vlogging ever since the iPhone 4 took front-facing cameras mainstream.