Big tech’s foray into self-driving technology and, as an extension, into the automotive industry hasn’t gone down well with lawmakers.
What Happened: Big tech’s expansion into the automotive industry poses serious concerns about emerging competition and consumer protection issues, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said in a letter addressed to the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.
“Big Tech is setting itself up to be a one-stop shop for automakers — for everything from data collection, cloud storage, and analytics to in-car navigation to voice assistants to autonomous driving capabilities,” Warren said.
The lawmaker sees the expansion as having “potentially alarming” implications for developers, workers and consumers.
Citing CarPlay launched by Apple Inc. AAPL at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference this year, Warren said big techs have already begun embedding themselves into every aspect of future vehicles. She also noted that big techs are using “all-or-nothing” bundling tactics, citing Alphabet Inc-owned GOOGL GOOGL Google’s AAOS not including Google Maps or Google’s voice assistant.
Automakers, therefore, are forced to buy a bundle called the “Google Automotive” suite to purchase all of these services, Warren added.
“Given these concerns, it is important for the FTC, the DOJ and legislators in Congress to act quickly and decisively to promote competition in this venue,” Warren said in the letter addressed to FTC Chair Lina Khan and DOJ Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter.
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