Sonos sued Google for patent infringement. To be exact, the company accused Google of stealing their technology related to audio and wireless connections and integrating it into some of their latest devices, such as Google Home and Pixel. So, in addition, they ask that sales of these products be stopped in the United States.
Sonos can do the same with Amazon
Sonos is a company focused on audio and connected speakers, and they have been developing wireless devices that can be connected to each other such as multi-room audio. They claim that they have shared information about these configuration processes, volume control, etc. with Google.
In 2013, Patrick Spence, CEO of Sonos told The New York Times that their company began working with Google to support Chromecast Audio and Google Play Music , Google’s music service which was integrated with the Sonos application and its speakers.
Sonos saw no problems as Google was not involved in the speaker business until 2016 when the tech giant launched its Google Home and everything has changed.
Sonos accuses Google violating its patents and taking advantage of the know-how to develop a wireless connection system for audio issues, volume control for one or several speakers together. Here is the document explaining the conflict.
The fight for antitrust
The demand by Sonos has all the ballots to end up making a lot of noise. Following the complaint filed in the Federal District Court and the United States International Trade Commission, it is now the House Antitrust Subcommittee that took an interest in the issue. So they have invited Patrick Spence to detail their complaints.
There will be a meeting on January 17th that would open a new antitrust investigation against Google and the house will focus on something that they have been trying to solve for a long time: How to regulate these great tech companies so that they do not take advantage of their dominant position to the detriment the smaller companies.
Google has been quick to respond, on one hand they claim that they will defend themselves vigorously and on the other hand that they feel disappointed with Sonos because they did not want to continue negotiations in good faith and in private. The thing is that Sonos has also told is that they have warned about this kind of a conflict years ago, yet they have not received an answer and that Google has always looked for their own interests.
In short, if the house decides, this issue will unleash and if there will be no agreement between the two sides – a new war might begin including companies such as Amazon, who also claims that they have developed their technology independently.