In The Atlantic: Amazon’s Dangerous New Acquisition

Date: 22 Aug 2022 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In early August, Amazon announced it would pay $1.7 billion to take over iRobot, the maker of the popular Roomba robotic vacuum. In a new essay in The Atlantic, Senior Researcher and Writer Ron Knox writes that if the deal is allowed to happen, Amazon would buy its way to dominance in yet another industry — and take over a trove of consumer data that it would use to further entrench its position as the country’s most powerful online retail monopoly. 

“The iRobot deal follows a known Amazon strategy, one that Jeff Bezos has admitted to in the past: using mergers to buy its way to dominance. Several companies make and sell robotic vacuums, including brands like Shark and others. But Roomba is the household name, so ubiquitous that it’s shorthand for every other robot vacuum available. By simply taking over the company that makes the most popular product in the industry, Amazon can grow its monopoly without actually having to out-innovate and out-compete its rivals.”

“Amazon can then use its gatekeeper power by pairing Roomba with its monopoly online marketplace and Prime subscription program, leaving other vacuum brands to wither and atrophy, unable to gain the attention and prominence held by Roomba on the country’s most popular shopping site.”

Read the full article here.

Ron has been the voice of concern around this deal since news of it first broke. He has been quoted by numerous publications including Business Insider and Reuters, and was interviewed by television news networks News Nation and Newsy.

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Ron Knox

Ron Knox is the Senior Researcher and Writer for ILSR's Independent Business Initiative.

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Luke Gannon is the Research and Communications Associate for the Independent Business team.

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