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will have to pay more than 100 million euros in Italy

Google suffered a major legal setback in Italy and will have to pay a fine of more than 100 million euros for abuse of a dominant position. The ruling was presented by the Autorità guarante della concorrenza e del mercato, the entity that regulates competition in the country. In this case, the penalty is related to the exclusion of JuicePass in Android Auto.

This application was developed by Enel X and allows users to find charging points for electric cars throughout Europe. According to the investigation, Google blocked access to the app from the car platform for two years.

The Italian authority ensures that the blocking of JuicePass in Android Auto has favored Google Maps. This is because the map application also has a similar function to find charging stations.

By rejecting the interoperability of Enel X Italia with Android Auto, Google has unfairly limited the possibilities for users to take advantage of the application when driving and recharging an electric vehicle. Consequently, Google has favored its own Google Maps application, which runs on Android Auto and enables functional services for electric vehicle charging, currently limited to searching and obtaining directions to get to charging points, but which in the future could include other functionalities such as reservation and payment.

Authorità guarantor of the concorrenza and of the market

Now, the American company and its Italian subsidiary will not only have to take charge of the millionaire financial punishment. They will also have to allow JuicePass to be accessible from Android Auto.

Google is forced to allow access to JuicePass on Android Auto

Google will have to pay a fine and allow access to JuicePass in Android Auto

According to the regulator, the blocking of JuicePass in Android Auto was a violation of article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It is not the first time that Google has been accused of abusing its dominant position, but in this case there is an aggravating factor: the growth in the sale of electric cars.

The Italian authority has referred that Google’s conduct “could influence the development of electric mobility” in a crucial instance. The ruling also condemns the practices of the US firm because threaten the development of an appropriate infrastructure.

Consequently, there could be negative effects on the spread of electric vehicles, on the use of ‘clean’ energy and on the transition towards more environmentally sustainable mobility.

Authorità guarantor of the concorrenza and of the market

Also, if other apps suffer the same as JuicePass in Android Auto, the Italian decision will serve as a precedent to prevent Google from continuing to do so.

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