France’s Orange Partners With Amazon Over Voice Assistant Technology

France's Orange Partners With Amazon Over Voice Assistant Technology

French telecoms operator Orange is partnering with Amazon to combine their respective voice assistant technology, Chief Executive Officer Stephane Richard said on Wednesday.

The former monopoly, whose own voice assistant is dubbed Djingo, is the second French telecom operator to join forces in the field with Amazon after Iliad, whose new high-end set-top box includes the US tech giant’s voice assistant Alexa.

Under the partnership, requests to buy products online or a service offered by Amazon could be made via Djingo, which was co-developped with Deutsche Telekom.

“We want to go further,” Richard told reporters.

“We’re working with Amazon with the aim to integrate our AI (artificial intelligence), Djingo and Alexa in our respective devices,” he added.

Earlier this week, Austrian retailers filed a complaint against Amazon with their national competition authority over the US  e-commerce giant’s dual role as a retailer and a marketplace.

The European Commission and Germany’s antitrust authority are also looking into Amazon’s role in the market.

The main grounds for the complaint laid out by Austria’s biggest retailers’ association is Amazon’s role as both a retailer in its own right and as a marketplace where other retailers’ products are sold.

In a statement outlining its complaint, the Retail Association said the “main problem” was Amazon’s dual role as retailer and marketplace.

“Amazon can in theory see the prices of the listed retailers (on its platform), undercut their prices and in the long run attract all that business,” it said, adding that 93 percent of all Austrian online shoppers have made at least once purchase on Amazon.