Sun, 24 Sep 2023

Amazon to buy vacuum maker iRobot for $1.7B

Robert Besser
09 Aug 2022, 04:52 GMT+10

NEW YORK CITY, New York: Amazon announced this week that it had purchased robotic vacuum maker iRobot for approximately $1.7 billion.

The purchase appears to be part of Amazon's strategy to acquire smart home appliance companies.

However, some are voicing concerns about Amazon's market power.

iRobot is best known for its circular-shaped robot Roomba vacuum. As part of Amazon, it would now join voice assistant Alexa, the Astro robot and Ring security cameras, along with other home smart appliances.

Industry observers believe Amazon wishes to become more involved in consumers' lives beyond static products, such as voice control.

The newest Roomba vacuum cleaner uses sensors to map -- and remember -- a home's floor plan. Some believe Amazon could collect data on users of the vacuum to integrate with its other products.

Last year, Amazon introduced its $1,000 Astro robot, though its sales have not been widely successful.

It has been noted that similar robotic vacuums are sold by Chinese and South Koreans for lesser costs.

In its most recent report, iRobot reported its quarterly revenues fell 30 percent, primarily on reductions in orders and delays, as the company announced it was laying off 10 percent of its staff.

Following word of the purchase by Amazon, iRobot shares rose 19 percent.

Last month, Amazon announced it would purchase primary care provider One Medical, in a deal valued roughly at $3.9 billion, as Amazon moves further into the health care field.

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