Sonos CEO Patrick Spence has taken a massive swipe at key competitors Alphabet’s Google and Amazon.com at a US Congressional hearing, in what appears to be a massive whinge about the fact that consumers prefer Google and Amazon speakers over Sonos.
He has previously accused Google of violating the speaker company’s intellectual property.
Before Google and Amazon got into the networked audio speaker market Sonos was unprofitable and since floating in 2018, their share price has fallen.
But despite this, the Company is now trying to claim that their two core competitors who have stripped sales away from Sonos with what many claims are better and superior product are a threat to the Californian Company.
Spence told a US hearing in Boulder Colorado that the dominance of Google-enabled it to violate the speaker company’s intellectual property.
He said that Google tries to prevent customers from using its voice assistants alongside another company’s on Sonos speakers.
He said that while Amazon doesn’t go that far, he said, it has used its power to “to subsidize the conquest” of the booming smart-speaker market, particularly by under-pricing its offerings.
There was no mention of the fact that both Google and Amazon who sell in a month what Sonos sell in a year have better component and manufacturing capability because of the volume of sales they are achieving.
“Today’s dominant companies have so much power across such a broad array of markets and continue to leverage that power to expand into new markets that we need to rethink existing laws and policies,” said Spence.
Spence also failed to acknowledge that the market for networked speakers is now driven by voice-activated speakers using technology developed by Google and Amazon instead of a proprietary networking OS which is what the Sonos system requires Vs the Google and Amazon speakers.
Sonos claims Google allegedly infringing five patents covering multi-room audio technology and that their dominance enabled it to violate the speaker company’s intellectual property.
Google has disputed Sonos’ claims and said it will defend itself claiming that they also face robust competition.
Also complaining about Apple who is set to launch a competitive product is Tile who make devices that pair with phones to help people locate lost items such as keys or purses.
What has upset Tile management is that Apple is reportedly preparing to unveil a competing service, and Daru’s 100-employee company alleges the phone maker has started putting up roadblocks to Tile’s business, such as burying permissions that allow the phone and Tile devices to communicate and prompting users to disable permissions that have been set.
Tile General Counsel Kirsten Daru “You’re playing up against a team that owns the field, the ball and can change the rules at any given time,”
Daru said that the majority of the company’s customers are on Apple’s operating system.
Apple told Bloomberg that its treatment of permissions, which focused on location, was designed to protect user privacy and that it’s working with developers whose customers may always want apps to be able to track them.
Daru said Apple also removed Tile devices from its retail stores, and that its bid on search terms related to the would-be rival to drive up the cost of advertising 50% each week during the past quarter.