Italy Anti-Trust Watchdog Fines Google $123m for Alleged Abuse of Position

Italy’s anti-trust watchdog has fined Google $123 million after they allegedly denied the app JuicePass access to their Android Auto system.

Android Auto is a feature available to all Android devices, allowing them to link with a users car and provide them with access to certain applications and services while driving. This currently includes music streaming apps and navigation services like Google Maps.

JuicePass, developed by Enel X Italia, is a electric-vehicle charging station app that allows users to find and reserve charging stations, as well as to view the activity remotely.

JuicePass was denied access to the Android Auto system, meaning users would be unable to access the app through their vehicle’s interface. This decreases the use-cases and relevant usage of the app significantly according to Enel X Italia.

According to the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM), Google violated Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and has ordered that they give JuicePass access to Android Auto. The decision also demands that Google allow interoperability between third-party applications and the Android Auto system.

The AGMC noted that Google Maps, a feature which is supported by Android Auto, gives users the ability to search for charging stations and that it could at some point allow users to pay for charging stations using the app. This places Google Maps in direct competition with JuicePass in the eyes of the AGMC.

Google has denied any wrongdoing, but has not made any comment on whether they will appeal the decision or not.

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