Whole Foods near Axios World HQ in Arlington, Va., on Day 2 of Amazon control

"Amazon, Google, Microsoft racing to make their virtual assistants more powerful and pervasive," per Wall Street Journal front-pager by Laura Stevens and Tripp Mickle:

  • "Amazon is adding hundreds of engineers to the Alexa program and giving it hiring preference over other divisions."
  • "Apple still has the greatest reach among voice assistants, with Siri accessed monthly on more than 375 million Apple devices across 36 countries."
  • Amazon also has been aggressively signing deals with other companies to add Alexa to products ranging from Ford Motor Co.cars to Sears Holdings Corp.'s Kenmore refrigerators."
  • "Google said this week that it would open its assistant to other speaker makers including Sony Corp. , and to appliance makers like LG Electronics Inc., to incorporate the assistant into dryers and vacuums."

Go deeper

Updated 1 min ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.
2 hours ago - World

China embraces hostage diplomacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Chinese government is threatening to detain foreign citizens unless their home governments do what Beijing demands. In some cases, China has already made good on those threats.

The big picture: This marks a potential evolution of China's "wolf warrior diplomacy" to outright rogue state behavior, putting it in the company of countries like North Korea and Iran, which have also engaged in hostage diplomacy.

Justice Department sues Google over alleged search monopoly

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The Justice Department and 11 states Tuesday filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, accusing the company of using anticompetitive tactics to illegally monopolize the online search and search advertising markets.

Why it matters: The long-awaited suit is Washington's first major blow against the tech giants that many on both the right and left argue have grown too large and powerful. Still, this is just step one in what could be a lengthy and messy court battle.

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