According to Dane Dickerson’s latest article for Wealth of Geeks, everyone has heard that Amazon’s acquisition of iRobot, makers of Roomba Vacuums, bears the insidious motive of mapping consumer homes for valuable marketing data. But what’s really behind this brow-raising deal is not so conclusive amongst field experts, including Chargebacks911 COO Monica Eaton-Cardone.
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In a press release on August 5th, Amazon stated they would purchase iRobot for $61 per share, including iRobot’s net debt, which approximates a $1.7 billion deal. They refer to the deal as a “definitive merger agreement.”
When asked what she thinks of the merger, Monica said, “Roomba can provide Amazon with a remarkable amount of additional data: How spacious your home is, how often it needs to be cleaned, and even how much furniture you have — all of it can be better quantified.” But does this mean we should all expect our Roombas to spy on us all the time?
“In and of itself, Roomba’s data is of limited value, but combined with all the other data points that Amazon has already successfully captured – such as your purchasing history, product searches, and demographic info it will help Amazon create a better, more-complete snapshot of its consumers,” Monica continued. “And when you’re a gigantic corporate conglomerate like Amazon, simply improving slightly on the margins can represent billions of additional dollars annually.”
Whether or not the Amazon acquisition of iRobot will be objectively ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for consumers, remains to be seen.