On 16 July 2020, the European Commission announced the launch of a sector inquiry into the market for consumer products and services linked to the Internet of Things (IoT).

The Commission defines IoT broadly. The sector inquiry is likely to cover any consumer facing system connecting physical or virtual objects to other objects or the internet. This includes smart home appliances and wearables (e.g., fitness trackers or smart watches). Commissioner Vestager says voice assistants are at the ‘centre’ of this: they’re a new interface between consumers and products/services, and there is a question as to how choices are presented to consumers over this medium. Connected cars are not in scope (the Commission is considering Standard Essential Patents in that area, but separately).

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Samantha has extensive experience in all areas of EC and UK competition law and is an eminent name in the cartel field and an experienced merger control specialist. She also regularly advises the boards of UK plc's in numerous industry sectors on antitrust compliance matters.

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Kurt Haegeman is a partner in Baker McKenzie’s Brussels office, currently based in the Tokyo office as a Attorney at Foreign Law. Kurt is a member of the steering committee of the Firm's Global Consumer Goods and Retail Industry Group, Global Cartel Task Force and European Competition Law Practice Group.

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Paul Johnson is a partner in Baker McKenzie Brussels' European & Competition Law Practice. He is an English qualified solicitor and has been practicing in Brussels and the UK for almost 15 years. Paul regularly represents clients on competition matters before the European Commission and has provided competition law advice with respect to over 100 jurisdictions around the world.

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Nicolas Kredel is a partner in Baker McKenzie's Dusseldorf office. He is a member of the Firm's Antitrust & Competition Steering Committee in the EMEA region and co-heads the global competition economics group.

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