Amazon is buying robot vacuum cleaner maker iRobot, the companies announced in a press release, Amazon is paying about $61 per share in a transaction with a total value of $1.7 billion- including the value of iRobot’s debt.

The deal is subject to both iRobot shareholder and regulatory approval as usual with such significant acquisitions. It is conceivable that competition authorities will object to giant Amazon’s entry into yet another new product category.

“Since we started iRobot, our team has been on a mission to create innovative, practical products that make customers’ lives easier, leading to inventions like the Roomba and iRobot OS,” said Colin Angle, chairman, and CEO of iRobot. “Amazon shares our passion for building thoughtful innovations that empower people to do more at home, and I cannot think of a better place for our team to continue our mission. I’m hugely excited to be a part of Amazon and see what we can build together for customers in the years ahead.”

iRobot has been the leading manufacturer of robotic vacuum cleaners throughout the life of the product category. The company was founded in 1990 but did not launch its first Roomba until 2002. According to statistics service Statista, iRobot had a 46 percent global market share in 2020, and nearly half of all robot vacuums sold worldwide were iRobots. In North America, the figure was even higher: 75 percent. iRobot is also by far the largest company in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) market, where it has a 50 percent share of total market sales in 2020, along with other noteworthy companies such as Roborock, Cecotec, and Ecovacs.

Robot lost $63.9 million in the second quarter of 2022 thanks to “unexpected order reductions, delays and cancelations from retailers in North America, Europe, and the Middle East.” In related news, iRobot announced that it was working on cost-cutting measures that should save up to $10 million in 2022 and between $30 million and $40 million in 2023. This means parting with about 10 percent of its staff, or about 140 employees, the company’s quarterly report said.

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