Apple is soon going to be the subject of another antitrust probe from the EU. As per Reuters, EU competition regulators are currently asking for information from nearly 400 companies to see if companies like Apple and Amazon are indulging in anti-competitive behavior using their voice assistants Siri and Alexa in any way.
The EU decided to investigate the segment after noticing the amount of user data that’s generated and involved with IoT devices. Thus, it wants to make sure that dominant players like Apple are not using their position to put their competitors at a disadvantage.
“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.
The EU wants to make sure that all the voice assistants and IoT devices are interoperable with each other. This is certainly not possible as things stand right now, at least on the HomePod. While one can playback music from Spotify on Alexa- or Google Assistant-powered speakers, Siri only plays well with Apple Music on the HomePod. The company is adding an option to change the default music provider on the HomePod with iOS 14 but as of now, it is unclear how this feature will work and what limitations it will have.
There are other limitations with Siri on the HomePod as well which do not exist on Alexa or Assistant speakers. This is perhaps also the reason why the HomePod despite its outstanding sound quality failed to attract consumers.
If any of the companies are fined guilty of breaching the antitrust rules, the EU has the power to fine them up to 10% of their global turnover.