The European Union Antitrust Commission opens an investigation into voice assistants

The European Union is examining potential monopoly problems related to voice assistants and connected Internet of Things products.

Antitrust Commissioners are investigating 400 companies to understand potential monopoly risks especially for devices that can be controlled remotely and connected to the network.

Attention is mainly paid to voice assistants, due to the huge amount of data collected by smart devices, which could configure a form of unfair competition.

“At the center of it all are voice assistants, such as Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa or Deutsche Telekom’s Magenta,” said European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager during the conference to present the investigation. “This is a sector that will grow rapidly and we want to understand its functioning and competition implications. Access to large amounts of user data seems to be the key to success in this sector, so we need to make sure that market players are not using their control over that data to distort competition and close these markets for competitors.”

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