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Press Release Published: May 1, 2024

Comer Probes FTC’s Questionable Consultation with Foreign Officials to Block iRobot/Amazon Merger

WASHINGTON—House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) is today opening an investigation into the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) involvement in blocking the merger of U.S.-based iRobot Corporation (iRobot) and, Inc. (Amazon). In a letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan, Chairman Comer requests documents and communications between the FTC and foreign regulators regarding the iRobot/Amazon merger.

“After an initial review of the companies’ intended merger, the FTC made a second request for information about the transaction on September 19, 2022. After the FTC announced its investigation, reports emerged indicating that the EC would investigate the merger.   On July 6, 2023, the EC announced an ‘in-depth investigation into the proposed acquisition of iRobot by Amazon.’ On January 18, 2024, reports showed that the EC advised Amazon that it would block the merger. […] The FTC’s actions indicate to American businesses that the FTC will work outside of U.S. antitrust law by using the EC to realize its desired outcomes,” said Chairman Comer.

This letter is the latest in the Oversight Committee’s investigation into a pattern of abuse of power and disregard for the rule of law and due process under Chair Khan’s leadership at the FTC. Chairman Comer is also conducting oversight of the FTC’s similarly questionable consultation with foreign officials to block a merger between Illumina, Inc. and GRAIL. In previous letters to FTC, Chairman Comer warned these actions undermine U.S. business interests and the FTC has overstepped the bounds of its role, which is to protect American consumers and the American marketplace.

“Instead of protecting American interests in the global market, the FTC appears to have actively coordinated with a foreign authority to block a merger which could have saved American jobs and promoted American innovation and standing in a vital market,” Chairman Comer continued.

Read the letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan here.

READ MORE: Comer Probes FTC’s Improper Consulting with European Officials to Block Illumina-Grail Merger