Warren, Jayapal Among Congressional Reps Objecting to Monopolistic Move by Amazon

An acquisition of iRobot announced by Amazon in August came to a screeching halt this week when legislators like U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal of the Seattle district wrote Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan asking the FTC to halt the $1.7 billion deal.

Among automated vacuums, iRobot holds 75% of the market share, which concerns the lawmakers, who call it an anti-trust effort. Others who signed the letter included U.S. Reps. Mondaire Jones, Katie Porter, Mark Pocan, and Jesús G. “Chuy” García.

Amazon is denouncing the move, calling the acquisition “pro-competitive.” The tech giant also handles sales of the products and has been known to discount certain items to gain market share.

The letter stated in clear terms the objections of the representatives:

Amazon’s proposed acquisition of iRobot Corp. presents a number of antitrust and consumer-protection concerns, which the FTC should closely examine when determining whether this merger should proceed. We have long urged the agency to use its broad authority to prevent dominant companies like Amazon from using their market power to buy their way out of competing. These actions are consistent with Section 7 of the Clayton Act, which prohibits any acquisition whose effect “may be substantially to lessen competition, or to tend to create a monopoly” in “any line of commerce or in any activity affecting commerce.”

the iRobot deal would be Amazon’s fourth-largest acquisition ever, behind its $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods, the $8.45 billion deal to buy MGM, and its pending $3.9 billion One Medical acquisition.

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