Amazon’s iRobot deal could possibly be blocked by European Union

It’s been 17 months since Amazon agreed to buy iRobot for $1.7 billion. The following yr and a half has unfolded at a glacial tempo, because the deal has inched ahead. Analysts anticipated that the retail big’s buy of the house robotic pioneer would face a superb little bit of regulatory scrutiny, although few anticipated the method to tug on fairly this lengthy.

The deal’s newest hurdle is the European Fee, which has set a February 14 deadline to achieve a ultimate resolution. In line with a brand new report, the EU regulatory physique is about to vote in opposition to acquisition, citing the perceived anti-competitive nature of deal. Final week, Amazon missed a deadline for submitting concessions to the European Fee.

The Wall Street Journal notes that Amazon was made conscious of the Fee’s intentions in a current assembly. The deal has already made it by a sequence of regulatory hurdles, together with the equal U.Ok. physique.

Since saying the deal, Amazon has insisted that ir gained’t adversely influence the robotic vacuum market, whereas assuring regulators that it’s going to not prioritize iRobot merchandise over the competitors by its huge retail presence.

The protracted overview interval has examined iRobot’s fortitude. In July, Amazon introduced that it was reducing its asking worth from $61 to $51.75 per share. The information arrived because the Roomba maker raised $200 million in debt, with a view to maintain issues transferring on the firm whereas ready for the deal to shut. If the acquisition finally goes by, that debt will probably be transferred to the brand new mother or father firm.

The day the preliminary deal was introduced, iRobot lower its headcount by 10% — round 140 folks – as a part of a restructure. The corporate laid off one other 85 folks in February. iRobot’s inventory worth additionally continues to reel from the delays. As of this writing, share costs have dipped under $20 – one-third of the place issues the place when the deal was introduced.