• Sen. Elizabeth Warren and five Congress members sent a letter to the regulator Wednesday
  • Amazon said the letter has "a number of falsehoods"
  • The FTC launched a probe into the Amazon-iRobot deal earlier this month

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and several Democratic House lawmakers are requesting that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) stop Amazon's proposal to acquire robotic vacuum manufacturer iRobot, Axios reported Thursday, citing a letter submitted to the regulator Wednesday.

"We are writing regarding our concerns with Amazon's proposed $1.65 billion acquisition of iRobot Corp., and the extent to which this acquisition which could harm consumers and reduce competition and innovation in the home robotics market," the letter stated.

The letter further noted that the FTC "should closely examine" whether the merger should push through based on the e-commerce giant's "record of infringing on consumers' privacy, and their ongoing history of anticompetitive mergers" to boost monopolization of the market.

"Rather than compete in a fair marketplace on its own merits, Amazon is following a familiar anticompetitive playbook: leveraging its massive market share and access to capital to buy or suppress popular products," the letter also said.

The letter was co-signed by Rep. Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y. 17th District; Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif. 45th District; Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis. 2nd District; Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash. 7th District and Rep. Jesus G. "Chuy" Garcia, D-Ill. 4th District.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Amazon said the letter has "a number of falsehoods and is broadly inaccurate," Axios reported. The spokesperson added that the company will continue cooperating with regulators and that it is "confident that this deal is pro-competitive."

Amazon has been struggling with various problems over the last few months, including an upcoming union election among its workers in its Albany, New York, warehouse and the FTC's increased attention on the controversial iRobot deal.

Reports revealed earlier this month that the FTC launched a review into Amazon's bid to acquire iRobot. The FTC kicked off its Amazon-iRobot deal probe just two weeks after the two parties informed the regulator of the proposed merger, two individuals with knowledge of the matter told Politico.

The sources further noted that a formal in-depth investigation into the Amazon-iRobot deal is expected after the initial review, as agency officials have reportedly lodged detailed questions about the acquisition.

Among the aspects of the deal that the FTC is reviewing is whether Amazon will have an unfair advantage over other retailers through data generated by iRobot's Roomba vacuum about a consumer's home, the two sources told the outlet.

Aside from the iRobot deal, the FTC is also investigating Amazon's sign-up and cancelation processes under the Prime program. In August, Amazon described the regulator's requests regarding the review as "burdensome." The company also asked the FTC to give it more time to respond to its requests for answers about the Prime probe.

roomba 980
iRobot CEO Chris Angle holds the Roomba 980, the company's latest robot vacuum cleaner. Nick Deel/International Business Times