The European Commission, on Thursday, launched a two-year probe into the Internet of Things market to see if companies such as Apple, Amazon, and Google, among others, can engage in anticompetitive practices with their virtual assistants and other smart devices. The Commission will send questionnaires to about 400 companies based in Europe, Asia, and America that sell smart home appliances, wearables and voice assistants, as part of the probe. EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager raised concerns particularly about Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, and Amazon’s Alexa, which she said tie the companies’ smart devices, and data collection practices together. “Voice assistants and smart devices can collect a vast amount of data about our habits. And there's a risk that big companies could misuse the data collected through such devices, to cement their position in the market against the challenges of competition. They…
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