EU sets date for decision on Amazon's $1.7bn iRobot deal

The European Commission will make a decision on Amazon’s proposed $1.7 billion takeover of automated vacuum cleaner company iRobot by 6 July.

The date was revealed in a European Commission filing, with the watchdog able to either clear the deal with or without remedies, or open a four-month long investigation if it has serious concerns.

Amazon, which announced the deal in August 2022, said that the acquisition of iRobot would boost its portfolio of smart home devices currently made up of a wide range from thermostats and security devices to smart speakers. A spokesperson for the tech and commerce giant said: “We’re working cooperatively with the relevant regulators in their review of this merger.”

The US Federal Trade Commission and UK Competition and Markets Authority are also casting an eye over the deal. Critics of the deal have highlighted a potential privacy nightmare, giving Amazon access to mapped out versions of their customers’ homes.

These privacy concerns have been highlighted by another area at Amazon this week, with the FTC announcing a settlement after it found that a former employee of Amazon's Ring doorbell camera unit spent months spying on female customers in 2017 with cameras in bedrooms and bathrooms.

The company will bay $5.8 million over privacy violations, and has also agreed to pay $25 million to settle allegations that it violated children's privacy rights when it failed to delete Alexa recordings at the request of parents.

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