Amazon and Google pressed by US Senator Amy Klobuchar on Matter Smart Home Alliance – .

Amazon and Google pressed by US Senator Amy Klobuchar on Matter Smart Home Alliance – .

Alphabet’s Amazon and Google are to provide more details on how their smart home devices and virtual assistants will support competition and user privacy, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar wrote to businesses on Tuesday.
In a letter, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee said testimony last week from corporate lawyers had left her concerned about their dominance in this growing field.

She asked companies which of their products would support – and which would not – a recently revamped industry alliance known as Matter. The group, which includes Apple, Ikea and others, aims to allow home automation gadgets such as internet-connected lights and speakers from various companies to sync with each other.

“For what period of time do you commit to supporting the Matter interoperability project, and who in your companies is responsible for determining whether to extend the duration of your commitment to Matter?” Klobuchar wrote to Amazon and Google.

She also called on companies before July 2 to answer questions about data collection by voice assistants and how information is used.

Last week’s hearing followed complaints from Sonos and other home device makers about large tech companies engaging in allegedly anti-competitive tactics to expand their dominance in advertising and other businesses.

Klobuchar noted during the hearing that Amazon’s Echo line has over 50% of the smart speaker market, while Google’s Nest products have 30%.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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