Alexa, Other Voice Assistants Pose Concerns of Anti-Competitive Practices: EU

A year-long inquiry into voice assistants equivalent to Alexa and Siri and different Internet-connected units has led to amongst greater than 200 firms expressing considerations of potential anti-competitive practices, EU antitrust regulators stated on Wednesday.

The European Commission has opened related inquiries previously into sectors equivalent to e-commerce, prescribed drugs, monetary providers, and power that ultimately led to circumstances towards firms and hefty fines.

Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Alphabet’s Google Assistant are among the many hottest voice assistant units.

“When we launched this sector inquiry, we were concerned that there might be a risk of gatekeepers emerging in this sector,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager stated in an announcement.

“From the first results published today, it appears that many in the sector share our concerns,” she stated.

The EU antitrust watchdog stated respondents cited considerations about sure exclusivity and tying practices associated to voice assistants and the place of intermediaries between customers and good units.

They additionally raised considerations in regards to the intensive entry of suppliers of voice assistants and good units to troves of knowledge, and the shortage of interoperability between units, with proprietary expertise appearing as de facto requirements.

The Commission stated the findings of the inquiry can be open to a 12-week lengthy public session ending Septemeber 1, with a closing report due within the first half of 2022.