EU launches antitrust probe on voice assistants like Siri and Alexa

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2020
Apple is set to face yet another antitrust probe, this time regarding its widely known voice assistant, Siri, and whether the voice assistant can be used to crowd out competition.




The European Union plans on gathering information from over 400 companies to see if companies like Apple and Amazon are using voice assistants Siri and Alexa to engage in anticompetitive behavior.

EU competition regulators are investigating whether or not companies like Apple and Amazon are using voice assistants to control user data and create hostile environments to their competitors.

"It sends an important message to powerful operators in these market that we are watching them and that they need to do business in line with competition rules," European Competition Commission Margrethe Vestager told a news conference, according to Reuters

The EU's argument surrounding voice assistants isn't a new one. In 2019, Spotify had filed a complaint with the EU, stating Siri's preference for playing music from Apple Music would dissuade users from using Spotify.

Apple and Amazon have been the subject of many antitrust probes, both in the United States and abroad.

In June, the Department of Justice began an antitrust investigation into Apple's App Store after developers continue to raise concerns over anticompetitive behavior.

Apple has faced antitrust probes in the European Union for some time. Not only have they battled with Spotify overseas, but several banks have brought antitrust cases against Apple's Apple Pay system.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,546member
    You European morons, take a deep look and investigate any Apps from China or things done by China. They are the one stealing misusing your information hurting you and rest of world. USA is not your enemy, China is and will be...
    georgie01anantksundarampujones1flyingdpred oakviclauyycBeatsjony0inTIMidatordonjuan
  • Reply 2 of 40
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    wood1208 said:
    You European morons, take a deep look and investigate any Apps from China or things done by China. They are the one stealing misusing your information hurting you and rest of world. USA is not your enemy, China is and will be...
    Is that you Donald?
    rotateleftbytebshankviclauyycDAalsethDancingMonkeysright_said_freddewmejony0
  • Reply 3 of 40
    fred1fred1 Posts: 833member
    wood1208 said:
    You European morons, take a deep look and investigate any Apps from China or things done by China. They are the one stealing misusing your information hurting you and rest of world. USA is not your enemy, China is and will be...

    So you propose to investigate China,
    but not the US?  Why the double standard? Anticompetitive behavior is just that and should be stopped, no matter who it’s by. 

    right_said_fred
  • Reply 4 of 40
    hammeroftruthhammeroftruth Posts: 1,087member
    Isn’t Apple 3rd behind Amazon and Google for their digital assistants?  
    Are they going to investigate Google, Microsoft and Samsung for the same thing? 
    Sounds like a cash shakedown to me. EU needs the cash badly due to Covid-19. 
    Especially since they need to Appeal the tax case now. 
    I bet they already spent that money they thought they were getting. 
    flyingdpbshankMisterKitjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 40
    georgie01georgie01 Posts: 394member
    Rayz2016 said:
    wood1208 said:
    You European morons, take a deep look and investigate any Apps from China or things done by China. They are the one stealing misusing your information hurting you and rest of world. USA is not your enemy, China is and will be...
    Is that you Donald?
    It’s scary how those who hate Trump will immediately believe anything if it means they can direct more hatred toward Trump (ironically while also saying how ‘hate‘ is so terrible...). Only the wilfully blind don’t see that China is a very serious threat. While some want to be diplomatic about it, we can be sure China has no intention of being anything but superficially diplomatic. How can anyone justify their severe religious persecution? Or their clearly deceptive handling of the coronavirus? Or how can anyone with a memory of the history of Hong Kong and the transfer from Britain see China’s actions there as anything remotely resembling appropriate? The list could go on and on...

    Love or hate Trump, he isn’t fear mongering about China. If anything he’s conservative in expressing his concerns (conservative for Trump, at least).
    anantksundaramGG1gatorguyred oakmwhiteelijahgBeatsdonjuanjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 40
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,228member
    Losers. Here we go again. Not that I am a particular fan of either Google or Amazon (even though I use both products), but this smacks of the EU screaming from the rooftops that they have nothing to offer on the tech front except taxes, regulations, and investigations. Even for ridiculously low- (or even zero-) priced products and services that massively enhance consumer welfare.

    Zero tech capabilities + spend too much => "Let's go after US tech".

    As Exhibit A on tech duncery, it is painful watch Ericsson and Nokia still flailing despite the US handing them Huawei's scalp on a platter.
    flyingdpfirelockred oakmwhitebshankMisterKitdewmejony0donjuanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 40
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,228member

    fred1 said:
    So you propose to investigate China,
    but not the US?  Why the double standard? Anticompetitive behavior is just that and should be stopped, no matter who it’s by. 
    Is that you, AOC?
    mwhitebshankdonjuanjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 40
    pujones1pujones1 Posts: 222member
    Anti-trust investigation for voice assistants? Seriously? There are 4. Any others out there? I’m sorry but this seems ridiculous and another grab at money. Spotify again? Do these guys and gals do anything else other than whine and try to get a free ride? They suck. I tried their product. Didn’t like it. 
    edited July 2020 bshankDetnatorwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 40
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,176member
    Isn’t Apple 3rd behind Amazon and Google for their digital assistants?  
    Are they going to investigate Google, Microsoft and Samsung for the same thing? 
    Sounds like a cash shakedown to me. EU needs the cash badly due to Covid-19. 
    Especially since they need to Appeal the tax case now. 
    I bet they already spent that money they thought they were getting. 
    Why did you assume they weren't looking at the Google Assistant too, just because AI didn't mention it by name? They are.

    Read the source article where the headline includes

    and other voice assistants

    edited July 2020 jony0
  • Reply 10 of 40
    JBSloughJBSlough Posts: 89member
    Jesus. They have anything else to there? Seriously? It’s a virtual assistant. Part of their product offerings for all four companies. My god, give it a rest. 
    elijahgflyingdpbshankDetnatorjony0jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 40
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,546member
    fred1 said:
    wood1208 said:
    You European morons, take a deep look and investigate any Apps from China or things done by China. They are the one stealing misusing your information hurting you and rest of world. USA is not your enemy, China is and will be...

    So you propose to investigate China,
    but not the US?  Why the double standard? Anticompetitive behavior is just that and should be stopped, no matter who it’s by. 


    Not saying you don't investigate US(but not US companies). In fact and history proves, US government itself is watchdog(constantly hanging sword) over USA companies. US government(and it's bureaucratic agencies) have done much better job crippling US companies(AT&T,IBM,Microsoft,list keep going) than European or others.
    So, if European wants to go after then go after real threat, CHINA and still have energy than Russia,Iran and others.
    China will never cripple Alibaba,Badu,Huawei,etc,etc,etc there companies no matter how big they become but from behind support them with Chinese government intelligence,hacking,stealing to take over the world commerce.
    edited July 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 40
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,333member
    I thought this was going to be about Apple/Amazon/Google only allowing their respective voice assistants on their respective “smart” speakers. But using Siri etc to control user data and “create a hostile environment” sounds pretty far fetched. Siri at least doesn’t link usage to an Apple-accessible account, and even if it did the data would be mostly wrong anyway...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 40
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 835member
    These anti-trust investigations have something in common with investigations of discrimination in hiring and promotion and pay. 

    There is plenty of that in the US, and Europe. It's a legitimate concern. It doesn't mean they will find anything, but hopefully they will be more fair than the US is in dealing with job discrimination in the US. 
    DAalseth
  • Reply 14 of 40
    It is Amazon that should be far more worried than Apple. They are forever advertising 'Alexa do this...' 'Alexa do that'.
    I have an iPhone but Siri is switched off. That is my choice. What do they have to complain aboit?
    TBH, I would not use any of them even if I was paid to do so.

  • Reply 15 of 40
    Losers. Here we go again. Not that I am a particular fan of either Google or Amazon (even though I use both products), but this smacks of the EU screaming from the rooftops that they have nothing to offer on the tech front except taxes, regulations, and investigations. Even for ridiculously low- (or even zero-) priced products and services that massively enhance consumer welfare.

    Zero tech capabilities + spend too much => "Let's go after US tech".

    As Exhibit A on tech duncery, it is painful watch Ericsson and Nokia still flailing despite the US handing them Huawei's scalp on a platter.
    This would be funny if not so painfully ignorant. Super curious what you would think of the iPhone if the components that were developed and made by counties in the E.U. were pulled out. Or maybe you are suggesting the iPhone isn't a tech product. 
  • Reply 16 of 40
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,264administrator
    gatorguy said:
    Isn’t Apple 3rd behind Amazon and Google for their digital assistants?  
    Are they going to investigate Google, Microsoft and Samsung for the same thing? 
    Sounds like a cash shakedown to me. EU needs the cash badly due to Covid-19. 
    Especially since they need to Appeal the tax case now. 
    I bet they already spent that money they thought they were getting. 
    Why did you assume they weren't looking at the Google Assistant too, just because AI didn't mention it by name? They are.

    Read the source article where the headline includes

    and other voice assistants

    Don't even need to go to the source article.

    From the headline here: "EU launches antitrust probe on voice assistants such as Siri and Alexa"
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 40
    bshankbshank Posts: 221member
    Isn’t Apple 3rd behind Amazon and Google for their digital assistants?  
    Are they going to investigate Google, Microsoft and Samsung for the same thing? 
    Sounds like a cash shakedown to me. EU needs the cash badly due to Covid-19. 
    Especially since they need to Appeal the tax case now. 
    I bet they already spent that money they thought they were getting. 
    Desperate and Capri-cious is their game
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 40
    viclauyycviclauyyc Posts: 687member
    georgie01 said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    wood1208 said:
    You European morons, take a deep look and investigate any Apps from China or things done by China. They are the one stealing misusing your information hurting you and rest of world. USA is not your enemy, China is and will be...
    Is that you Donald?
    It’s scary how those who hate Trump will immediately believe anything if it means they can direct more hatred toward Trump (ironically while also saying how ‘hate‘ is so terrible...). Only the wilfully blind don’t see that China is a very serious threat. While some want to be diplomatic about it, we can be sure China has no intention of being anything but superficially diplomatic. How can anyone justify their severe religious persecution? Or their clearly deceptive handling of the coronavirus? Or how can anyone with a memory of the history of Hong Kong and the transfer from Britain see China’s actions there as anything remotely resembling appropriate? The list could go on and on...

    Love or hate Trump, he isn’t fear mongering about China. If anything he’s conservative in expressing his concerns (conservative for Trump, at least).
    How you know he was not meant for Donald the Duck?
    Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 40
    georgie01 said: Love or hate Trump, he isn’t fear mongering about China. If anything he’s conservative in expressing his concerns (conservative for Trump, at least).
    If Trump really held any type of personal strategic concern regarding China, why would he have chosen tariffs as his primary economic strategy? Tariffs were a proven failure as a trade war instrument back in the early 20th century and they've failed again in the early 21st century. The trade deficit with China is larger than ever and there is no replacement for the TPP. Also, why would he claim that China was doing a great job with containing the virus back in January and praising Xi? Shouldn't he have been taking every precaution necessary if he held any personal beliefs regarding China being dangerous or untrustworthy? 
    viclauyycjony0
  • Reply 20 of 40
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,176member
    georgie01 said: Love or hate Trump, he isn’t fear mongering about China. If anything he’s conservative in expressing his concerns (conservative for Trump, at least).
    If Trump really held any type of personal strategic concern regarding China, why would he have chosen tariffs as his primary economic strategy? Tariffs were a proven failure as a trade war instrument back in the early 20th century and they've failed again in the early 21st century. The trade deficit with China is larger than ever and there is no replacement for the TPP. Also, why would he claim that China was doing a great job with containing the virus back in January and praising Xi? Shouldn't he have been taking every precaution necessary if he held any personal beliefs regarding China being dangerous or untrustworthy? 
    What the heck does this have to do with voice assistants? We're letting another thread veer far off course. 
    GG1anantksundaramDAalsethpscooter63jbdragon
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