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Amazon CEO Says It’s a Pity That The iRobot Deal Didn’t Work Out:

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Amazon CEO Says It's a Pity That The iRobot Deal Didn't Work Out:

(CTN News) – On Thursday, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy attacked regulators for blocking mergers, including the company’s failed acquisition of robotic vacuum maker iRobot earlier this year.

Andrew Ross Sorkin interviewed Jassy on “Squawk Box” after the Amazon chief released his annual shareholder letter. Jassy believes the acquisition would give IRobot a competitive advantage. However, regulators blocked the deal “because they don’t want our vacuum cleaner, the Roomba, to compete with others.”

European antitrust watchdogs and the Federal Trade Commission raised concerns about Amazon’s deal to acquire IRobot for $1.7 billion in January. Its shares have plunged more than 75% this year after the company laid off 31% of its staff.

“In terms of maps of U.S. consumers’ homes, these two large Chinese companies are trusted more by regulators than Amazon,” Jassy said.

IRobot’s once-dominant market share has been threatened by companies like China-based Anker, Ecovacs and Roborock, as well as SharkNinja.

Aside from the iRobot decision, global regulators have been more aggressive in trying to block Big Tech companies from expanding further, with the Biden administration placing a high priority on antitrust enforcement in the tech sector.

In the midst of sluggish megadeals, tech companies have invested in artificial intelligence startups. Last month, Amazon added $2.75 billion to its stake in AI startup Anthropic, which also counts Google as a major investor. Microsoft has invested billions in OpenAI, the company that makes ChatGPT.

The Federal Trade Commission launched an inquiry into the deals in January, targeting these partnerships as well.

Jassy believes that people don’t know what to do at the moment. As for Big Tech deals, he urged regulators to be “more reasonable.”

The FTC also sued Amazon.

Amazon was sued by the agency in September, accusing it of operating an illegal monopoly that stifles competition and raises prices for consumers. This is while causing sellers to incur higher costs.

Amazon’s e-commerce business is based on its sprawling third-party marketplace. Several businesses generate millions of dollars in revenue through the marketplace, which accounts for more than 60% of goods sold.

Amazon has built a fulfillment and logistics system that allows it and third-party sellers to deliver products to customers at increasingly breakneck speeds over the years. A network of groups has attempted to take advantage of scale and lenient returns policies by reimbursing fraudulently.

In a survey by the National Retail Federation and Appraise Retail, the problem cost retailers more than $101 billion last year.

Amazon has teams charged with examining returns to make sure they are “appropriate,” Jassy said when asked how it tackles return fraud.


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Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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