- Title: EU antitrust regulators to probe voice assistants, internet-connected devices
- Date: 16th July 2020
- Summary: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (FILE - FEBRUARY 9, 2018) (REUTERS) WOMAN USING HOMEPOD APPLE HOMEPOD
- Embargoed: 30th July 2020 14:02
- Keywords: Alexa Amazon Apple EU antitrust regulators Google Margrethe Vestager Siri voice assistants
- Location: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM / NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES / UNIDENTIFIED LOCATION
- City: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM / NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES / UNIDENTIFIED LOCATION
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: European Union,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA002CN286DJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:EU competition regulators are seeking information from 400 companies to establish if there are problems in the market for voice assistants such as Alexa and Siri and other internet-connected devices that could lead to antitrust cases, European Competition Commission Margrethe Vestager said on Thursday (July 16).
The European Commission has opened similar inquiries in the past into sectors such as e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, financial services and energy that led to cases against companies and eventually hefty fines.
Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri and Alphabet's Google Assistant are among the most popular voice assistant devices.
The EU executive said its interest was prompted by the large amounts of user data involved in consumer "internet of things" devices and it wanted to make sure market players did not use their control of such data to hurt competition or thwart rivals.
Vestager, who can fine companies up to 10% of their global turnover for breaching EU antitrust rules, has made the tech industry the centrepiece of her enforcement efforts, taking on Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook in recent years.
(Production: Hortense de Roffignac)
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