Science

Amazon buys robot vacuum maker Roomba

Amazon plans to take over iRobot. The e-commerce giant is looking to shell out about $1.7 billion for standalone vacuum cleaner maker Roomba. Both companies have stated that the purchase price is $61 per share. However, iRobot’s regulators and shareholders have yet to approve the deal. Colin Engle is expected to remain CEO of iRobot after the deal closes.

If the transaction goes through, Amazon could solidify its dominance in the home connected space. The operation will not only acquire hardware technology, but also data: according to its own data, iRobot has put into operation more than 30 million Roomba robots worldwide. And the mapping technology of these robotic vacuum cleaners could allow the e-commerce giant to have a complete overview of what is happening in the apartments of users, analyzes, in particular, specialized media Wired. There is something for privacy advocates to worry about.

Activist Evan Greer told Wired that Amazon is looking to expand its surveillance through the operation. Researcher Ron Knox called the plan “the most dangerous and threatening takeover in Amazon’s history” in a Twitter thread.

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