The European Union has released a preliminary report on smart homes and the Internet of Things, stating that the behavior of Apple, Google and other manufacturers could prove anti-competitive.
A preliminary report onInternet of Things concludes that there may be anti-competitive practices by a small number of companies, including Apple.
“When we initiated this investigation, we were concerned that there might be a risk of gatekeepers emerging in this industry“, Said in a statement the executive vice president Margrethe Vestager, EU head of competition policies”We were concerned that they might use their power to harm competition, to the detriment of business and consumer development. From the first results published today, it appears that many in the industry share our concerns and fair competition is needed to make the most of the great potential of the Internet of Things for consumers in their daily lives.“.
The preliminary report doesn’t say that Apple, or others, are violating competition laws, but says other companies have reported that Amazon, Google and “to a slightly lesser extent“Apple are engaging in anti-competitive behavior.
A large number of respondents, across all consumer IoT segments, point out that the main obstacle to developing new products and services is the lack of ability to compete with Google, Amazon and Apple. These players have become the leading technology companies and have built their own ecosystems within and outside the consumer IoT industry by combining their own third-party products and services and integrating them into a single offering.
The EU is concerned with promotinginteroperability between different brands, which is described as important as it allows users to build IoT ecosystems with heterogeneous products, improving consumer choice and preventing lock-in in a given vendor’s products.
The European Commission has now launched a public consultation. Interested parties have until 1 September 2021 to submit their comments.