Log in
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
New member
Sign up for FREE
New customer
Discover our services
Dynamic quotes 
News: Latest News
Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesInterest RatesBusiness LeadersFinance Pro.CalendarSectors 
All NewsEconomyCurrencies & ForexEconomic EventsCryptocurrenciesCybersecurityPress Releases

Top U.S. senator fears Big Tech at home as Alexa, Nest dominate

06/15/2021 | 06:48pm EDT
FILE PHOTO: Prompts on how to use Amazon's Alexa personal assistant are seen in an Amazon ‘experience centre’ in Vallejo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. lawmakers from both parties pressed Alphabet Inc's Google and Amazon.com on Tuesday about their smart speakers markets, amid concern over the domination of the tech behemoths in this area.

Senator Amy Klobuchar, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee, noted that Amazon had more than 50% of the smart speaker market while Google had 30%, and stressed the importance of interoperability.

"In a few years, people might easily have 20 or more connected devices in their homes - from a vacuum and a fridge to speakers and lights. We want those devices to work with each other seamlessly," she said. "You shouldn't have to choose the right devices for your home based on whether they play nicely with Google or Amazon's digital assistants."

Smart home technology includes smart speakers like Amazon's Echo or Google's Nest, security systems or televisions.

Google Senior Public Policy Director Wilson White said interoperability was a goal and there were "robust conversations" underway on how to achieve it.

Ryan McCrate, Amazon's associate general counsel, said Amazon wanted users to have access to multiple assistants from a single device if that was what the user wanted.

Neither Google nor Amazon appeared to be trying for true interoperability, said Eddie Lazarus, chief legal officer for smart speaker maker Sonos.

Google contractually prohibits Sonos from using technology that allows users to switch between Amazon's Alexa and the Google voice assistant, Lazarus said. He said Amazon's effort to work with smaller companies was "just an on-ramp into the Amazon ecosystem because you can't mix and match between the big companies."

The hearing took place at a time of extraordinary interest in tougher antitrust enforcement, much of it focused on the biggest U.S. technology companies. One result has been a series of investigations and several federal and state lawsuits filed against Google and Facebook as well as a long list of antitrust bills.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Karishma Singh)

By Diane Bartz

© Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ALPHABET INC. -0.82% 2694.32 Delayed Quote.55.30%
SONOS, INC. -0.29% 33.8799 Delayed Quote.45.15%
Latest news "Economy & Forex"
12:16pUnicredit - 2021 eba eu-wide stress test results
12:15pMonte dei Paschi capital wiped out in EU banking stress test
12:15pWall Street falls as Amazon earnings disappoint
12:14pEU adopts legal framework for Lebanon sanctions - statement
12:11pPeru's benchmark stock index extends losses, now down 5.2%
12:09pEx-Parsley Energy CEO Bryan Sheffield's fund buys Texas panhandle assets
12:03pSpain's sabadell finishes with cet-1 fully loaded ratio of 6.54% in adverse scenario as of end-2023 in eba stress test, eba says
11:55aWalmart to require masks for U.S. retail workers in COVID-19 hotspots
11:52aU.S. consumer sentiment declines in July as inflation remains concern
11:47aWalmart to require masks for U.S. retail workers in COVID-19 hotspots
Latest news "Economy & Forex"