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FTC Should Reject Amazon’s iRobot Acquisition, Advocates Say

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should not approve Amazon’s purchase of iRobot Corporation, maker of the popular Roomba smart home device, Public Citizen, Fight for the Future, and key advocates for Big Tech accountability said in a letter to the agency sent today.

Amazon’s years-long acquisition spree has already established the company as a dominant player in the smart home device market. Like the company’s purchase of smart doorbell maker, Ring, buying iRobot would harm competition while endangering what little privacy remains in internet-connected homes, the groups said.

“The proposed deal poses a striking set of concerns related to consumer privacy and market competition. Allowing Amazon to absorb a competing smart home device business with access to incredibly detailed consumer data would endanger fair competition and open markets while also jeopardizing consumer privacy,” the letter reads.

“There is no more private space than the home. Yet with this acquisition, Amazon stands to gain access to extremely intimate facts about our most private spaces that are not available through other means, or to other competitors. This information goes beyond home floor plans and includes highly detailed information about the interior of consumer homes and lifestyle of the inhabitants. Giving Amazon access to this kind of private information through this acquisition hurts consumers.”