The European Union continues on with its work to improve competition in the IT sector and this time, it has focused efforts on smart homes and IoT, singling out big tech companies such as Apple, Google, and Amazon, and finding their monopoly as a potential harm to competition, reports AppleInsider.
A preliminary report shows possible anticompetitive practices from Apple and a few other companies
This inquiry is related to IoT and Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager stated that there are some concerns of possible ‘gatekeepers’ that may harm the competition when it comes to consumer-oriented IoT devices. The report also identifies that IoT is a rapidly growing market, with an increase in the use of voice assistants. Inquired parties for this initial report state that some businesses in the market of IoT have troubles competing with big companies with complete ecosystems, such as Apple, Amazon, and Google. Given the fact these companies provide the most common smart and mobile devices operating systems, states the report, they can determine the process of integrating smart devices into the IoT system.
One of the potential risk factors, highlighted in the report, is the exclusivity of voice assistants and the limitations of having different voice assistants on the same smart device.
As this is only a preliminary report, potential risks have only been identified, but no final report has been published yet. The Commission plans to publish a final report in the first half of 2022, which will most probably contain also regulatory activities that the EU can undertake if these initial findings confirm anticompetitive practices.