US Senator Elizabeth Warren. (Paul Connors / Boston Herald)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who had urged federal regulators to stop the Amazon-iRobot merger, finally got her wish this week when Amazon abandoned the deal, leading to layoffs of 350 workers at the Massachusetts-based robotics company.
The Massachusetts senator has been noticeably silent about the collapse of the iRobot acquisition and job losses even though she has been attacking Amazon for years.
“I have serious concerns about the Amazon-iRobot deal — dominant companies like Amazon should not be allowed to buy their way out of competition,” Warren said in a 2022 statement. “The FTC must oppose this proposed merger to protect competition, lower consumer prices, and rein in Amazon's well-documented anti-competitive activities.”
The Federal Trade Commission — now led by a Warren aide — raised concerns about the deal and worked with the European Union, which ultimately blocked the merger.
iRobot, which makes the popular Roomba vacuum cleaner, did not say where the workers would be laid off, but the company's headquarters are in Massachusetts.
As a result of the collapse, iRobot's president, Robin Angell — a star in Massachusetts high-tech circles — announced that he would step down. Angell said in a statement that he and iRobot's board of directors decided “that iRobot would be better served by a new leader with transformation experience.”
Amazon had to pay iRobot a $94 million termination fee to finalize the deal to add the robotics company to its portfolio, which would have allowed it to sell iRobot products directly on its website.
Amazon is also a major employer in Massachusetts, with a robotics innovation facility in Westboro opening in 2021.
Warren's office did not respond to the Herald's request for comment on the layoffs and the hit taken by iRobot, which is now expected to restructure, which could lead to more layoffs.
The far-left Democratic congresswoman from Massachusetts has for many years had Amazon and other major high-tech companies in her crosshairs for their anti-competitive, anti-consumer behavior. Along with a group of other liberal lawmakers, she sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission urging them to halt iRobot's $1.65 billion acquisition in 2022.
But job losses? Not as much as a word from Warren about it.
It puts politics and party politics before the people.
Warren lives the millionaire lifestyle at her home in Cambridge and has no idea how much ordinary people struggle to make ends meet. She gives interviews to CNN and other friendly outlets and rarely subjects herself to hostile questions.
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