Amazon calls off bid to buy robot vacuum cleaner iRobot amid scrutiny in the US and Europe

LONDON (AP) — Amazon on Monday called off its proposed acquisition of iRobot, which was facing antitrust scrutiny on both sides of the Atlantic, with the ecommerce giant blaming “undue and disproportionate regulatory hurdles.”

The companies said in joint statement that they “entered into a mutual agreement to terminate their announced acquisition agreement.”

“We’re disappointed that Amazon’s acquisition of iRobot could not proceed,” David Zapolsky, Amazon’s general counsel, said in the statement.

Colin Angle, the founder of iRobot, also said the termination was “disappointing.”

Amazon’s announced in 2022 that it would buy Bedford, Massachusetts-based iRobot for $1.7 billion, but the value of the deal fell 15% after the company incurred new debt.

The European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm and top antitrust enforcer, had informed Amazon last year of its “preliminary view” that the acquisition of the maker of the circular-shaped Roomba vacuum would be anticompetitive.

British antitrust regulators cleared the purchase back in June, but it also still faced scrutiny in the U.S. by the Federal Trade Commission.

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