New Discussion Paper on Voice Assistants


Victoriia Noskova, M.Sc. (Ilmenau University of Technology) published a new discussion paper „Voice Assistants as Gatekeepers for Consumption? - How Information Intermediaries Shape Competition“.

The theoretical paper analyses voice assistants (or digital personal assistants, e.g. Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant) from competition policy perspective.  The paper questions if voice assistants are gatekeepers for consumption and how and under which conditions they have incentives for anti-competitive actions influencing competition on voice assistants’ and related markets. The paper provides implications for regulation and discusses competition policy approach for this market with respect to current regulatory proposal of Digital Market Act.

The author argues that (i) voice assistants as gatekeepers for consumption should be listed among core services in Digital Market Act, (ii) some Digital Market Act’s obligations need to be adopted to fit specifics of voice assistants, (iii) two relevant dimensions of power should be included into rebuttable presumptions used for competition policy and regulation: market power on voice assistants’ market and ecosystem of related markets (cross-market integration criterion), (iv) growth of new gatekeepers should be prevented, among other means by stricter merger control.