Google must pay a competition fine of around 102 million euros in Italy for allegedly exploiting its dominant position to the detriment of an Italian app.
App not included in Android Auto
The case assessed was that of an app by the Italian company Enel, which is designed to help users find charging stations for electric cars. Google had not included the app in its Android Auto platform, where only Google’s own Maps app offers a similar search function. The Italian antitrust authority AGCM sees this as an exploitation of the dominant position and an unlawful preferential treatment of its own Maps service. In addition to the competition fine of around 102 million euros, the directive was issued not only to integrate Enel‘s app into Android Auto, but also to allow all manufacturers of similar services to access the platform. Compliance with this directive is to be monitored by the competition authority.
Google is considering further steps
A Google spokesperson, meanwhile, stated for the record that the company disagrees with the Italian authority’s decision and is considering further steps. The further development in this case remains to be seen – it is interesting far beyond the individual case, as the upholding of the ruling is likely to have far-reaching consequences for Google’s offerings. The decision now made was preceded by a preliminary investigation that began in 2019 and was initiated following a complaint by Enel. This is the first procedure in the EU relating to the Android Auto platform.