On Thursday, the Italian Competition Authority announced that it had imposed a fine of more than one hundred million euros on Google for exploiting the dominant position.
In a statement, the authority attributed the fine amounting to 102.84 million euros (123 dollars) to the giant group’s refusal to agree to the inclusion of an application that allows locating stations for charging electric cars on its online store for applications (Google Play).
The authority pointed out that “Google, through the Android operating system and the Google Play App Store, enjoys a dominant position (…) It is free to remind that about three-quarters of smartphones in Italy are running the Android system.”
An investigation conducted by the Italian authority showed that Google did not allow the use of the “Juice Pass” application developed by the Italian giant “Enel” group in the field of energy on the “Android Auto” system that allows a vehicle to connect to and benefit from several services.
The authority pointed out that “Juice Pass provides a wide fan service dedicated to charging electric vehicles, which currently only allows searching for charging stations for electric vehicles.”
The authority, which opened an investigation in May 2019, added, “Google, by refusing to grant Enel X Italia the right (…) to make the Juice Pass application available on Android Auto, has unfairly limited the capabilities available to Enel users.”
“The exclusion of the Enel X Italia app from Android Auto has been going on for more than two years. Continuing this behavior would permanently undermine Enel XItalia’s ability to build a solid user base at a time when we are witnessing significant growth in electric vehicle sales.”
In this context, the authority imposed on Google to provide “Enel XItalia” and other application developers “the tools necessary to program applications running on Android Auto.”
An independent expert associated with the authority will monitor the implementation of this condition, and “Google must fully cooperate with him and provide him with all the information he requests.”
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