Breaking news: civil rights groups score a win with FTC investigation of Amazon-iRobot deal

September 20, 2022

It’s just been reported that the FTC sent a second request to Amazon asking for additional information about the iRobot acquisition. This will likely lead to investigation of the $1.7 billion dollar deal.

The announcement comes one week after dozens of civil rights organizations, including Fight for the Future, Public Citizen, Athena, and Color of Change, called on the FTC to challenge Amazon’s purchase of iRobot. Read the full letter here.

This statement can be attributed to Evan Greer (she/they), Director of Fight for the Future:

“This is an important step in checking Amazon’s aggressive move toward surveilling every single aspect of human existence. The FTC must escalate this investigation. Amazon owning and selling the Roomba would be incredibly dangerous. It would threaten our privacy, especially the rights of domestic workers, and add an additional layer to Amazon’s smart home ‘surveillance’ ecosystem, which already records us, tracks us, and monitors just about everything we do. If left unchecked, Amazon will continue to gobble up as many companies as it possibly can to solidify its data on—and thus its power over—our daily lives. Amazon has demonstrated in every way possible that it does not care about privacy and civil rights, which is why we need the FTC to use its full authority to challenge the Amazon-iRobot deal, and ultimately regulate Amazon’s tyrannical surveillance out of our homes and lives.”

Fight for the Future is also driving public comments to the FTC in response to the agency’s rulemaking on commercial surveillance and data tracking. The agency has the opportunity to address the widespread, discriminatory abuse of companies, including Amazon, and Fight for the Future is calling on the FTC to move forward with a strong and expansive rule to address issues related to data minimization, security, and surveillance technology.