Google has received quite a hefty fine in Europe, as “abuse of market dominance” was stated. The company has received a €102 million ($123 million) fine, and it was issued in Italy, by Italy’s Competition Authority (AGCM).
Italy issues a €102 million fine to Google for “abuse of market dominance”
Italy’s Competition Authority claims that Google violated Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It is said that Google did not allow Enel X Italia to release an Android Auto version of its JuicePass app.
Enel X Italia is an energy company, and its app helps electric vehicle owners find and reserve a place at charging stations. AGCM says that Google prevented this from happening in favor of Google Maps.
It is worth noting that the JuicePass app only allows users to find and get directions to charging stations. That app is expected to receive new functionality soon, though, such as reservation and payment options.
Google, on the other hand, “respectfully disagrees” with the regulator’s decision, a spokesman said. He also added that Google’s priority for Android Auto is to ensure safety while driving, and is quite strict on which apps it supports.
AGCM believes that Google could ruin Enel X Italia with its actions
AGCM believes that Google could “permanently jeopardize Enel X Italia’s chances of building a solid user base at a time of significant growth in sales of electric vehicles”, if it continues blocking its app from Android Auto.
It is worth noting that Google’s advertising business is also being investigated by AGCM. That investigation is taking place for alleged abuse of its dominant position in the country’s digital advertising market. The results should be in by November.
It remains to be seen what will happen next. Google Italy’s spokesman said that Google will examine the documents in order to decide its next steps. The company will likely defend its stance, though anything is possible. Google may yield and allow the JuicePass app to reach Android Auto.