Google is under investigation by the EU antitrust over suspected forcing device makers to use Google Assistant as their default voice assistant, MLex news reported on Thursday.
The new EU antitrust investigation could subject Alphabet Inc’s Google to a fine equal to 10% of its global sales.
The European Commission has fined Google over 8 billion euros in the last 10 years in three different cases.
In June, the EC said its internet devices inquiry raised concerns over exclusivity and restricting practices related to voice assistants.
For instance, manufacturers of such devices are denied installing a second voice assistant on their devices.
The three most prominent voice assistants in Europe are Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant.
According to Statista, analysts expect their global market to increase from 4.2 to 8.4 billion devices between 2020 and 2024.
The EU enforcer asked device producers prove their allegations and if Google wants to ban rivals from their store.
Google said that Android OS offers more choices than any other mobile operating system.
“Manufacturers and users can choose which voice assistants to install on their devices,” the company said.
The EC refused to comment and referred to the EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager’s news conference in June.
It’s not surprising that voice assistants could be the next big thing tech companies and EU antitrust battle on, said Andrea Pomana, partner at law firm Beiten Burkhardt.
She added that this is due to the huge amount of data generated and collected from their users.