Sonos: Amazon and Google are forcing us to show new products too early

Sonos says Amazon and Google are forcing the company to show products early, after which those companies can create “copycat products” and release them at the same time. Sonos has already filed a lawsuit against Google.

According to Sonos, the company must meet the requirements of Amazon and Google, because both companies provide essential services for Sonos speakers. That says director Patrick Spence in a reply to a committee of the US Congress that is investigating abuse of market power by large tech companies.

Sonos speakers use Amazon’s AWS servers, among other things, and also use the digital voice assistants Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Spence sees both services as essential for the functioning of the smart speakers. “The dominance of these companies shows in the fact that they can enforce unreasonable terms. For example, they can request unreasonably early and detailed access to Sonos’ roadmap. That is information that can do a lot of damage given the competition between these companies and Sonos.” Like Sonos, Amazon and Google also make smart speakers.

Spence also talks about Google’s obstruction in offering a feature to use two voice assistants at the same time on Sonos speakers. “By refusing that, a user has to set a default voice assistant and changing it is a time-consuming, manual job. That ensures that the default assistant remains in use often.”

The agreement is also unilateral, Spence says. “Google and Amazon can use information about our roadmap to create copycat products. This is not a two-way agreement, but one in which Amazon and Google receive a lot of information from our users about using voice assistants and provide little information to us. That information is important. for us, because we need certain voice data to understand whether our speakers are functioning properly.”

Sonos has been battling Amazon and Google for several months now. The company filed a lawsuit against the latter in January for alleged patent infringements. Amazon and Google have not yet responded to Sonos’ allegations.