Why Roomba has become a model in Europe (worth 1.4 billion)

The famous floor cleaning robot Roomba has become an example in Europe. Amazon has launched a $1.4 billion bid to buy iRobot, the US company that manufactures it, but the operation could be blocked by the European Commission for violating competition rules.

Last June, the Brussels antitrust authority sent a notice to Amazon, asking it to take a series of measures to comply with these rules. The real issue relates to the fact that the US multinational is, on paper, a sales platform for Roomba that should guarantee equal market conditions to all its competitors.

The commission’s fear is that by acquiring iRobot, Amazon will prefer domestic products to the detriment of its competitors such as German Bosch and Miele, Dutch Philips, Spanish Taurus and Swedish Electrolux. Jeff Bezos’ multinational company could make more profits by selling more iRobot models than rivals in its market, the commission said in November. The end result could lead to “higher prices, lower quality and less innovation for customers.”

However, Brussels’ demands were not accepted by the e-commerce giant: January 10 was the deadline for Amazon to submit a counter-proposal to the Commission, but no documents reached the desk of the European antitrust services. Brussels now has until February 14 to decide what to do, namely whether to approve the purchase.

Source: Today IT