The news: Amazon announced it was buying Roomba maker iRobot last week for $1.7 billion, ostensibly to add to its collection of connected smart home devices and expand its robotics aspirations.
Amazon’s ambitions: Amazon, which recently scooped up healthcare provider One Medical for $4 billion, has set its sights on the robotic vacuum market by purchasing its way to a leadership position.
Regulatory red flags: Roomba’s acquisition is expected to be met with concerns from data privacy experts and regulators, per Insider.
Why this could backfire: "When the company that has its cameras and microphones in your speakers, your doorbell, your security cameras tries to buy the company that knows the shape and contents of your home, it's bad in all the ways," said Ron Knox, senior researcher and writer for the Institute of Local Self-Reliance.
Key takeaway: iRobot’s market dominance, as well as Roomba vacuum’s access to people’s homes and user data, are two key factors regulators might consider if they aim to terminate the deal under antitrust laws.
This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Connectivity & Tech Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the technology industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.
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