iRobot shares tank 30% on report EU plans to block Amazon acquisition

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Roomba robot vacuums made by iRobot are displayed on a shelf at a Target store in San Rafael, California, on Aug. 05, 2022.
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Shares of iRobot plunged more than 33% in extended trading on Thursday after a report said the EU’s antitrust watchdog intends to block Amazon‘s planned acquisition of the Roomba vacuum maker.

The Wall Street Journal reported the European Commission met with Amazon representatives on Thursday to discuss the deal and was told the acquisition would likely be rejected, citing people familiar with the matter.

Amazon declined to comment. A representative from the European Commission didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Amazon’s stock fell slightly in extended trading.

Amazon announced it would acquire iRobot in August 2022 for $61 per share in an all-cash deal that values the smart vacuum maker at $1.7 billion.

The European Commission, the European Union’s top antitrust enforcer, opened an in-depth probe into the purchase last July. The group warned the planned acquisition raises competition concerns, saying it found Amazon may hinder iRobot’s rivals from competing on its online marketplace. Amazon could delist or reduce the visibility of rivals’ products in search results or other areas, the EC argued.

The EC is expected to rule on the deal by Feb. 14. Earlier this month, Politico reported Amazon doesn’t plan to offer concessions to resolve the group’s concerns about the acquisition.

The deal is still under review by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority said in June that the deal would not result in “a substantial lessening of competition” in the U.K.

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