Amazon is set to acquire iRobot, the company that made robot vacuums famous with its iconic Roomba product, after signing a $1.7 billion agreement, according to a report from The Verge. 

The online shopping behemoth will be paying $61 per share in the all cash transaction. While it is unclear how iRobot will fit into Amazon’s already extensive robotics arm, its CEO, Colin Angle will be staying on. 

“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,” the Senior Vice President of Amazon Robotics, Dave Limp told The Verge.

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iRobot has been making robot vaccums since 2002 and has since effectively created a name for itself by selling millions of its Roomba products. The Roomba has become eponymous when people talk about robot vacuums. However, the acquisition puts Amazon in a convenient place to make itself the go-to for smart home electronics.

In 2022, the company launched its Astro smart home robot, retailing at $999. The robot seamlessly integrates with Amazon’s other home products like Alexa and Ring. It listens to commands and uses “advanced learning algorithms”. By the looks of it, in the near future, it seems likely that many homes will be powered by Amazon products. The only question that is left to answer is how much of our conversations is the company listening to?

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Of course, the merger will only go through after the Federal Trades Commission gets its hands on the paperwork and subsequently approves of the deal.  The chairman of the FTC, Lina M. Khan is unlikely to be happy about it, given her displeasure with the way Big Tech operates, and nor does Congress. The FTC is already pursuing an investigation into Amazon’s acquisition of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, a media company that produces and distributes film and television programs, for $8.5 billion. 

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On top of that, Congress has been pushing massive antitrust legislation through at a quick pace. Most significantly, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act would make tech companies across the country sever ties between their marketing tools from their tech aspects.