Amazon is known to be one of the largest technology companies in the world, as well as the biggest retailer in recent memory. Founded by billionaire Jeff Bezos in 1994, Amazon has come a long way from its origins as an online space where bibliophiles could buy books to the international distributor of goods and services that it is today. Combined with its free two-day shipping and Amazon Prime benefits, the conglomerate has grown to be one of the most recognized organizations in history. Now, Amazon has set its sights on a new product by buying the famous Roomba for consumers to purchase on its site.
According to a report by The Verge, Amazon recently entered a deal with iRobot, the company that makes the Roomba, to acquire it for $1.7 billion. Viewed as a big step in the home robotics industry, the sale of iRobot to Amazon will be done through an all-cash transaction, where Amazon is acquiring iRobot for $61 per share. It has not been confirmed yet exactly if, or how, Amazon will change iRobot, but Colin Angle will remain as the CEO of iRobot for the time being. There are currently no plans that have been made public for how Amazon will integrate iRobot into their company, and the deal remains in the hands of regulators who must clear the transaction before the sale of the company is finalized. Meanwhile, Bloomberg is reporting that Amazon may have to contend with an uphill climb through the transaction as it will need to jump hurdles of antitrust reviews by the Federal Trade Commission.
Not to be confused with the Will Smith film of a similar name, iRobot is a corporation that, before Amazon came in to acquire the company, invented the Roomba for mass consumers. The organization is known for designing and building equipment to assist in cleaning solutions for everyday Americans around their homes, specifically the company’s leading products in the Roomba, Braava, and other cleaning devices. According to NBC News, there are several different styles of Roombas to choose from, as they are robotic vacuums that range from varying degrees of suction power, cleaning style, noise features, and smart home technology. Braavas, on the other hand, operate as floor mops to dispense cleaning workarounds using disposable or microfiber cloths for all hard-surface floors.
Under Amazon’s leadership, if the deal is finalized and they can officially acquire iRobot’s products like the Roomba and Braava, it may be anyone’s guess what the behemoth does with these products. ConsumerAffairs reports an overall satisfaction rating among customers who have purchased and used iRobot products to clean their homes, specifically showing a 3.8 out of 5 average rating from 225 users. It would probably be unwise to change these products in any way besides making them more efficient, as they are well-received by customers. Currently, it appears that iRobot products like the Roomba and Braava are available already to purchase on Amazon’s website, so consumers may not feel a pinch from the acquisition in the long run.