The EU could be gearing up for a full-scale investigation of Amazon’s $1.7bn acquisition of popular robot vacuum cleaner Roomba maker iRobot.

Amazon, who initially announced the potential purchase last year, recently won the approval of UK regulators. 

According to Reuters who cited people familiar with the deal, the EU is gearing up to launch a four-month investigation of the potential buyout by Amazon. 

The e-commerce giant is not likely to provide any ramifications during the initial stage of investigation, Reuters reported. 

The merger comes as Amazon looks to expand its already large portfolio of smart devices. Amazon’s ring doorbell, which first released in 2014, has cemented itself at the top end of the doorbell market.

Amazon previously said the vacuum cleaner is a highly competitive market and cited many Chinese companies that hold products in the space. 

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By GlobalData

The UK Competition and Market Authority (CMA) shared the same outlook as Amazon, and claimed that it did not see the company being able to disadvantage other robot vacuum cleaner manufacturers. 

Snigdha Parida, senior analyst at analytics company GlobalData, previously said: “Despite iRobot’s longevity and brand leadership in high-tech home robots, it has remained a mid-sized enterprise.”

“Amazon has aggressively built its robotics ecosystem since it acquired Kiva Systems in 2012.

“iRobot will enhance its presence in the consumer robotics category and accelerate its plans to add robots to its existing automated home product portfolio, such as the Echo range of smart speakers and Ring smart doorbells.”

The CMA’s decision follows its blocking of Microsoft’s landmark $69bn acquisition of games publisher Activision Blizzard. The European Commission, however, found that the deal would not impede competition in the gaming market. 

The Commision's decision to investigate the merger comes as global investment in robotics substantially grew last year totalling $32.4bn, according to data acquired by GlobalData.

This was an increase from the previous year, which saw capital raisings in companies working with robotics total $27.4bn.

2020 saw investment in robotics at its lowest over the last five years with just $14bn invested, less than almost half of investment in 2022.