In a significant market development, iRobot, renowned for its Roomba vacuum cleaners, witnessed a substantial 39% surge in its shares as reports surfaced that the European Union is poised to grant unconditional antitrust approval for Amazon’s $1.7 billion acquisition of the company.
Citing insider information from three sources, Reuters reported on Thursday morning that the European Union is set to approve the deal without any antitrust conditions. The decision from the European Commission is anticipated to be officially announced by February 14. However, the transaction is still awaiting review by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority had previously stated in June that the acquisition would not lead to a significant reduction in competition within the U.K. market. With the European Union’s potential approval, iRobot inches closer to becoming a part of the Amazon ecosystem, pending the conclusion of the ongoing regulatory reviews.
Amazon declared its intent to acquire iRobot in August 2022, offering $61 per share in an all-cash deal. This strategic move marks Amazon’s fourth-largest acquisition to date, following its notable purchases of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in 2017, film studio MGM for $8.45 billion in 2021, and boutique primary-care provider One Medical for $3.9 billion announced in July 2022.
The news of the impending EU approval triggered positive investor sentiment, reflected in iRobot’s shares closing nearly 39% higher. Amazon’s shares, on the other hand, remained relatively flat.
As the acquisition awaits final regulatory clearances, both companies are poised to navigate the evolving landscape of smart home technology and artificial intelligence, leveraging iRobot’s expertise in robotic devices and Amazon’s vast ecosystem of products and services. The successful integration of iRobot into Amazon’s portfolio could potentially redefine the landscape of home automation and robotic solutions, offering consumers innovative and interconnected smart home experiences.