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EU antitrust regulator cite considerations about voice assistants’ exclusivity practices By Reuters 



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Govt Vice-President of the European Fee for a Europe match for the Digital Age (Competitors) Margrethe Vestager offers a press convention on the European Fee in Brussels, Belgium June 3, 2021. Stephanie Lecocq/Pool by way of REUTERS

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A year-long inquiry into voice assistants akin 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 mentioned on Wednesday.

The European Fee has opened related inquiries up to now into sectors akin to e-commerce, prescribed drugs, monetary companies and power that finally led to instances towards firms and hefty fines.

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

“After we launched this sector inquiry, we have been involved that there could be a threat of gatekeepers rising on this sector,” European Competitors Commissioner Margrethe Vestager mentioned in an announcement.

“From the primary outcomes printed at present, it seems that many within the sector share our considerations,” she mentioned.

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

In addition they raised considerations concerning the in depth entry of suppliers of voice assistants and good units to troves of information, and the shortage of interoperability between units, with proprietary expertise appearing as de facto requirements.

The Fee mentioned the findings of the inquiry could be open to a 12-week lengthy public session ending Sept. 1, with a closing report due within the first half of 2022.

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