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Amazon Acquires iRobot, Makers of Roomba, in $1.7B Deal – CNET

What’s happening

Amazon is buying Roomba’s parent company iRobot.

Why it matters

Owning iRobot will allow Amazon to expand its device portfolio, making it more competitive in the battle to be the primary smart home platform to rule our homes.

Amazon has signed an agreement with iRobot, makers of Roomba robot vacuum cleaners, to acquire the company for $1.7 billion. The online commerce giant announced the deal on Friday in a press release, in which it said it would acquire the iRobot in an all-cash transaction for $61 per share.

“Over many years, the iRobot team has proven its ability to reinvent how people clean with products that are incredibly practical and inventive — from cleaning when and where customers want while avoiding common obstacles in the home, to automatically emptying the collection bin,” said Dave Limp, SVP of Amazon Devices in a statement. “Customers love iRobot products — and I’m excited to work with the iRobot team to invent in ways that make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable.”

Colin Angle, iRobot’s current CEO, will stay on the lead the company, Amazon said. In a statement, Angle said he “cannot think of a better place for our team to continue our mission.”

A robot vacuum cleaner is often seen as a status symbol among tech-savvy homeowners, but it’s no longer at the forefront of cutting-edge tech. Roomba is now 20 years old, making iRobot one of the pioneers in the home robot space. Since 2017, Roomba has been compatible with Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa, and back in May, the company introduced iRobot OS, a revamped operating system to make its robovacs smarter than ever.

The addition of iRobot to Amazon’s device portfolio strengthens its position as a one-stop shop for all your smart home needs. When combined with its Ring doorbell and home security products along with its Alexa-enabled Echo displays and speakers, it will increasingly allow people to have a fully interoperable smart home. One of Amazon’s biggest rivals in this space is Google, which boasts a full range of Nest products that can also be combined to create a well-connected smart home.

Amazon didn’t provide any further details as to how it plans to integrate iRobot with the rest of the company, but the company has already dabbled in home robots with a limited release of Astro, a home hub on wheels, earlier this year. Whether Astro and Roomba will become the iconic duo every household needs remains to be seen.

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