Exclusive-Amazon to win unconditional EU nod for iRobot deal -sources

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -Amazon is set to win unconditional EU antitrust approval for its $1.4 billion acquisition of robot vacuum maker iRobot, three people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Antitrust enforcers around the world have stepped up scrutiny of Big Tech acquiring smaller rivals, concerned about the accumulation of troves of data by a few companies and big players leveraging their dominance into new markets.

The European Commission, which acts as the EU’s competition watchdog, warned Amazon in July that the deal could reduce competition in robot vacuum cleaners and reinforce the U.S. company’s dominant position as an online marketplace provider.

The Commission, which is due to decide on the deal by Feb. 14, declined to comment. Amazon did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

The deal announced in August would add iRobot’s Roomba robot vacuum to U.S. online retail giant Amazon’s portfolio of smart devices, includes the Alexa voice assistant, smart thermostats, security devices and wall-mounted smart displays.

The UK antitrust agency cleared the deal unconditionally after a preliminary review.

(Reporting by Foo Yun CheeEditing by Mark Potter and David Goodman)