US lawmakers from both parties pressed Alphabet’s Google and Amazon on Tuesday about their smart speakers markets, amid concern over the domination of the tech behemoths in this area.
Senator Amy Klobuchar, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee, noted that Amazon had more than 50 percent of the smart speaker market while Google had 30 percent, and stressed the importance of interoperability.
“In a few years, people might easily have 20 or more connected devices in their homes – from a vacuum and a fridge to speakers and lights. We want those devices to work with each other seamlessly,” she said. “You shouldn’t have to choose the right devices for your home based on whether 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 were “robust conversations” underway on how to achieve it.
Ryan McCrate, Amazon’s associate general counsel, said Amazon wanted users to have access to multiple assistants from a single device if that was what the user wanted.