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Italy fines Google 100 million euros due to Android Auto

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Google was fined just over € 100 million by Italy’s competition regulator for abuse of a dominant position in the market.

The case concerns Android Auto, a modified version of Google’s mobile operating system for use in the car, and specifically how Google restricted access to the platform to an electric car charging application, called JuicePass, manufactured by the company Enel X Italia energy.

Android Auto allows drivers to directly access a selection of relevant apps (such as maps and music streaming services) via the car’s screen when integrated with your smartphone, but Google has not allowed the JuicePass app to access this Android Auto functionality.

Italy fines Google 100 million euros due to Android Auto

Now Enel X Italia did not like it and filed a complaint with the competition authority of its country, which turned out to be right, applying this fine to Google. According to the authority, Google violated Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union – and ordered it to make JuicePass available through the platform.

The authority (AGCM) also says that Google should provide the same interoperability with Android Auto to other third-party application developers. The authority points out that the Google Maps app, which offers some basic services for charging electric vehicles (such as locating and getting directions to charging points), is available through Android Auto – and may, in the future, incorporate directly competitive features, payments.

“According to the Authority’s findings, Google has not allowed Enel X Italia to develop a version of its JuicePass application compatible with Android Auto, a specific feature of Android that allows applications to be used while the user is driving in compliance with safety and reducing distraction, ”writes the AGCM in a press release via the Reuters agency.

Thus, AGCM states that “by refusing to integrate the Enel X Italia app with Android Auto, Google has unfairly limited the possibilities for users to take advantage of the JuicePass application to find and recharge an electric vehicle. Consequently, Google favored its own Google Maps application, which runs on Android Auto and allows functional services for charging electric vehicles, currently limited to finding and getting directions to reach charging points, but which in the future could include other features , such as booking and payment. ”

Italy fines Google 100 million euros due to Android Auto

Google denies any wrongdoing and says it disagrees with the order. But he did not confirm whether he intends to appeal or not. According to Google, the restrictions it imposes on the access of apps to Android Auto are necessary to ensure that drivers are not distracted, and it can be verified that your operating system has thousands of third-party applications available on its platform. However, Google did not comment on why the Enel X Italia app was not available.

Source: Reuters

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