US and US lawmakers are pressuring Amazon and Google for the smart speaker market

Smart Speaker

Google Senior Public Policy Director Wilson White said interoperability was a goal and there have been “robust conversations” underway on the way to achieve it.

US lawmakers from both parties pressed Alphabet’s Google and Amazon on Tuesday about their smart speaker’s markets, amid concern over the domination of the tech behemoths during this area.

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

“In a couple of years, people might easily have 20 or more connected devices in their homes – from a vacuum and a fridge to speakers and lights. we would like those devices to figure with one another seamlessly,” she said. “You shouldn’t need to choose the proper devices for your home supported whether or not 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 have been “robust conversations” underway on the way to achieve it.

Ryan McCrate, Amazon’s associate general counsel, said Amazon wanted users to possess access to multiple assistants from one device if that was what the user wanted.

Neither Google nor Amazon seemed 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 permits users to modify between Amazon’s Alexa and therefore the Google voice assistant, Lazarus said. He said Amazon’s effort to figure with smaller companies was “just an on-ramp into the Amazon ecosystem because you cannot mix and match between the large companies.”

The hearing happened at a time of extraordinary interest in tougher antitrust enforcement, much of which focused on the most important US technology companies. One result has been a series of investigations and a number of other federal and state lawsuits filed against Google and Facebook also as an extended list of antitrust bills.

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