Sonos sues Google



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Sonos CEO to testify at anti trust hearing on January 17.

https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/8/21057151/sonos-ceo-spence-testify-lawmakers-antitrust-google-lawsuit-speaker-patent

"Only a day after Sonos officially sued Google for stealing its tech designs, House antitrust leaders have invited the speaker company to air its grievances in an open hearing." (From the article)

Sonos are no doubt caught between a rock and a hard place. Let’s just hope there’s still room for them in the market in the coming years.

+1 to that. Spence came to Sonos from Blackberry, and he was there when smartphones made those seen everywhere devices obsolete in a very short time, so this is a kind of deja vu for him, I suppose.

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Sonos are no doubt caught between a rock and a hard place. Let’s just hope there’s still room for them in the market in the coming years.

+1 to that. Spence came to Sonos from Blackberry, and he was there when smartphones made those seen everywhere devices obsolete in a very short time, so this is a kind of deja vu for him, I suppose.

 

I don’t think we have stats on the sale of Amazon and Google’s more high end speakers, but I don’t hear a ton of buzz about it.  I wouldn’t guess that Sonos is terribly concerned about those themselves.  However, more traditional companies like Polk, Bose, etc are licensing Alexa access and using MRM, for example that would be more of a threat.  And of course, the lower end Echo and Google devices are pulling away some of those that are willing to settle for slightly lower sound quality.

 

The way I see it, it’s quite clear that Google and Amazon have had great success in the smart speaker market by leveraging there brand, tie ins with other products and services, large amounts of cash, and apparently not having to be too concerned about patent laws.  Whether these practices are fair to competitors and good for consumers is the debate.  The lawsuit is focusing on the patent issues, but there seems to be a larger anti-trust question also going on as well.

 

As a consumer, I know I’ve benefitted greatly from all the tech infrastrucure these companies have created, that couldn’t have been done without the perhaps questionable business practices.  At the same time, it’s not hard to imagine there would be a lot of additional successful companies doing a lot of great work that we are not seeing because of the dominance of big tech.

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The only real winner in this will be the lawyers.

As a user of Sonos, Google, Amazon and Apple products, among many others, I hope the parties come to a quick resolution that has minimal impact on consumers who have already invested time and money on a myriad of ecosystems to be entertained in the best and sometimes easiest way possible.

Anything else would be considered a loss.

@vansmack : I agree, well said. I am in the same boat because no one company has the ability to meet all my needs.

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