The Strategist

Google fined €102 million in Italy

05/14/2021 - 04:07

The Italian antitrust regulator (AGCM) has fined Google €102m for abusing its dominant position.

Vince Smith
Vince Smith
The regulator said in a statement that, thanks to its Android OS and Google Play app store, the company maintains a dominant position in the Italian market, which allows it to control access to end-users for app developers.

For example, according to the AGCM, Google for two years prevented JuicePass, developed by Enel X, from running on the Android Auto platform. By doing so, Google prevented Enel X from growing its user base and unfairly limited end users' ability to get the app, which allows electric car drivers to check the availability of charging stations in real time. At the same time, Google promoted its own Google Maps app for the same purpose, which has less functionality to help electric car drivers than JuicePass.

The regulator has ordered Google to allow Enel X's app on the Android Auto platform and make tools available to Enel X and other developers to create apps that are compatible with Android Auto.

Enel said it supports the regulator's decision, which "represents an important incentive for the growth of electric mobility in the country". 

Under the decision, the Enel X JuicePass app and all other developers of electric vehicle charging apps will be given a level playing field with Google apps. This is expected to stimulate innovation and competition among mobile service providers and have a positive impact on end consumers, who will be able to meet their electric vehicle charging needs by accessing a wider range of services.

Google disagreed with the regulator's decision. The company said it would first study all the documents and then consider the next steps.