Amazon.com Inc deal sparks. The purchase of Roomba maker iRobot Corp, which comes on the heels of the tech giant’s deal to acquire One Medical Health Clinics, has further raised privacy concerns.
The Friday before the market opens, Amazon AMZN,
Announce the agreement on takes over iRobot for $61 per share in an all-cash transaction. The deal is worth approximately $1.7 billion, including iRobot’s net debt.
The deal comes less than three weeks after Amazon announced a $3.9 billion deal for takes over Direct Primary Care One Medical, operating as 1Life Healthcare Inc. ONEM,
that aroused itself Fears About data privacy.
Critics were quick to voice privacy concerns about the iRobot purchase:
The last thing America and the world need is “Amazon dump more of our personal information,” according to Robert Wiseman, president of consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen. “This is not just about Amazon selling another device in its market,” he said in a statement. “It’s about the company acquiring more intimate details of our lives to gain an unfair market advantage and sell us more stuff.
“Amazon just bought iRobot, which contains massive amounts of data about people’s physical homes. It never ends. Congress should have passed @TomCottonAR’s bill to ban major technology mergers,” tweeted Matt Stoller, director of research at the Economic Freedoms Project American.
“With Ring, Alexa, and now Roomba, Amazon keeps track of everything that happens inside your home (even who visits you). It’s all about getting data about you. Live on Google too. Globalmacroinvestor.com CEO Raoul Pal said in a tweet:” Homes were your data last resort when your phone was turned off, but not now.”
“No to that. Amazon has embarked on another troubling acquisition — iRobot, maker of Roomba,” tweeted Stacey Mitchell, co-director of the Local Self-Reliance Institute, an advocacy organization that fights corporate control. “This is part of a strategy to control smart home infrastructure and collect a lot of data about our homes and how we live in them.”
MarketWatch contacted Amazon about data privacy concerns:
“Protecting customer data has always been very important to Amazon, and we believe we have been very good stewards of people’s data across all of our business,” the company said in a statement emailed to MarketWatch. “Customer trust is something we’ve worked hard to earn – and work hard to maintain – every day.”
The tech giant’s shares are down 1.4% mid-Friday, and are down 15.6% this year. S&P 500 SPX Index stocks,
which fell 0.5% on Friday, and is down 13.3% in 2022.
Tom Forte, an analyst at DA Davidson, said the short period of time between the One Medical and iRobot deals could indicate a new strategic focus at Amazon.
“While we may focus a lot on the short distance between the two most recent mergers and acquisitions [merger and acquisition] announcements (less than three weeks between One Medical and iRobot), it signals to us that CEO Andy Gacy may be more willing to engage in mergers and acquisitions than his predecessor, founder/CEO Jeff Bezos,” he wrote in a research note. We think he might have to give Amazon’s current size and how much more revenue it needs to move than it did when the company was smaller, even 10 years ago.”
DA Davidson has a buy rating and a price target of $151 on Amazon.