SAN FRANCISCO: E-commerce giant Amazon is coming under closer scrutiny from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its latest proposed acquisitions of robot vacuum maker iRobot and 1Life Healthcare, which operates primary care provider One Medical.

Amazon announced plans to acquire One Medical for $3.9 billion in July and iRobot for $1.7 billion in August.

According to a report in Politico, the FTC has officially launched a review of Amazon’s takeover of iRobot due to antitrust concerns.

“The next step would be to formally open a full investigation into the iRobot deal, which people say is expected given detailed questioning from agency officials,” the report said.

The FTC is concerned that data generated about a consumer’s home by iRobot’s Roomba vacuum could give Amazon an unfair advantage over market players.

“For example, Amazon might have an advantage with a consumer looking to buy a sofa, using detailed house maps generated by iRobot to suggest particular items,” the report said.

1Life Healthcare also said the FTC has opened an in-depth review into its takeover by Amazon.

Amazon has not commented on the FTC probes.

After the acquisition, iRobot laid off 10% of its workforce, or nearly 140 workers.

The company said to better align its cost structure with near-term revenue, it is in the process of initiating an “operational restructuring.”

Amazon’s proposed acquisitions of One Medical and iRobot came after it bought the MGM movie studio for $8.45 billion.

One Medical combines in-person care in welcoming offices across the country with digital health and virtual care services, making it easier for patients to schedule appointments, renew prescriptions, access up-to-date health records and improve health outcomes.


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