The filing by iRobot said both companies would cooperate with the FTC’s investigation and expect to promptly reply to the FTC’s request. After an investigation, which typically takes up to a year, the FTC can sue to block a merger, seek concessions such as divestitures or decline to take action, allowing a deal to close. The FTC under Chairwoman Lina Khan is taking a skeptical view of acquisitions by technology giants, saying the deals often hurt competition and give the incumbent firms control over valuable consumer data. The agency recently sued to block Meta Platforms from acquiring Within Unlimited and its virtual-reality dedicated fitness app, Supernatural. Amazon says it has been “very good stewards of peoples’ data across all of our businesses” and that it isn’t acquiring iRobot to gather intelligence from inside customers’ homes. The Roomba is a consumer-oriented vacuum cleaner that collects data about its users’ homes using cameras, sensors, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
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