On Thursday, January 20, the European Commission published findings of its competition sector inquiry into the consumer Internet of Things (IoT). The final report and its accompanying staff working document identify potential competition concerns in the rapidly growing markets for IoT related products and services in the European Union.
The documents published presented the Commission’s findings, taking account of comments received during the public consultation on the preliminary report of June 2021 and confirming the preliminary report’s conclusions published in June 2021. Comments include input from stakeholders such as leading consumer IoT players, smart device manufacturers, creative content service providers, associations, or telecommunication operators.
The main findings of the sector inquiry on the Consumer IoT cover the following points also covered in the preliminary report: (i) the characteristics of consumer IoT products and services, (ii) the features of competition in these markets, (iii) the main areas of potential concern raised by stakeholders in relation to the current functioning of consumer IoT markets, as well as to their future outlook. The information collected in the context of the sector inquiry on the consumer IoT will provide guidance to the Commission’s future enforcement and regulatory activity.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy said, “The consumer Internet of Things sector is increasingly becoming part of our everyday life. The final findings of our sector inquiry confirm concerns identified in the preliminary report. This is a market with high barriers to entry, few vertically integrated players and concerns about access to data, interoperability or exclusivity practices amongst others. We are confident that the sector inquiry’s findings will provide guidance on the Commission’s future enforcement and regulatory activity. We are also hopeful that it will stimulate companies to pro-actively address those concerns.”
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