EU antitrust regulators said on Wednesday that the market dominance of Apple’s Siri, and knockoffs like Amazon’s Alexa and Alphabet’s Google Assistant, has triggered concerns of potential anti-competitive practices in the voice assistant market.
The comments from the European Commission come after a year-long inquiry into voice assistants and other internet-connected devices and responses from more than 200 companies.
Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant are the most popular voice-assistant devices in Europe, with the global market expected to double to 8.4 billion devices from 4.2 billion between 2020 and 2024, according to Statista.
“We saw indications that some practices that we know too well may lead to tipping and to the emergence of gatekeepers,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager told reporters.
The EU antitrust watchdog said respondents cited worries over certain exclusivity and tying practices related to voice assistants such as producers of smart devices being prevented from installing a second voice assistant on a device.
A second concern was about voice assistant providers promoting their own services or those of third parties via default settings on devices, thus restricting rivals.
A third concern focused on the troves of data available to providers of voice assistants and smart devices, while a fourth worry was about the lack of inter-operability between devices.
MacDailyNews Take: Clearly there is a tremendous amount of competition among voice assistants. As for Apple, specifically, see the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant apps readily available for free on Apple’s App Store.