Google Fined More Than $120 Million in Italy for Abuse of Dominant Position
By Mauro Orru
Alphabet Inc.'s Google has been fined more than 100 million
euros ($120.7 million) by Italy's competition watchdog for abuse of
its dominant market position to favor the tech giant's own
The Italian Competition Authority said Thursday that the fine
stems from the exclusion of Enel X's JuicePass app from Google's
Android Auto feature, which allows the safe use of apps while the
user is driving.
"By refusing Enel X Italia interoperability with Android Auto,
Google has unfairly limited the possibilities for end users to
avail themselves of the Enel X Italia app when driving and
recharging an electric vehicle. Google has consequently favored its
own Google Maps app, which runs on Android Auto," the authority
said in a statement.
JuicePass, developed by Enel X, the energy-services business
line of Rome-based energy company Enel SpA, allows users to locate
charging points, reserve slots, manage charging sessions and pay
through the app.
Google Maps also offers services for electric-vehicle charging,
but these are currently limited to obtaining directions for
The competition authority ordered Google to include Enel X's app
in Android Auto and to share tools with Enel X and other developers
for the programming of apps that are interoperable with Android
A Google spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal that the
company disagreed with the decision and that it would review its
"The number one priority for Android Auto is to ensure apps can
be used safely while driving. That's why we have strict guidelines
on the types of apps which are currently supported and these are
based on driver-distraction tests and regulatory and industry
standards," the Google spokesperson said.
The exclusion of the Enel X's app from Android Auto has been
going on for more than two years, the authority said. It said that
this could jeopardize the company's chances to gain a solid user
base at a time when sales of electric vehicles are flourishing.
Enel said in a statement that the decision "represents an
important enabling factor for the growth of electric mobility in
Italy and arrives [at] a crucial phase for the development of the
whole sector that can no longer allow further delays."
The fine from Italy's competition watchdog is the latest in a
string of sanctions that authorities across the European Union have
recently levied on Big Tech players.
In February, Facebook Inc. was fined by the Italian competition
authority amid concerns that the social media giant wasn't
providing enough information on the handling of user data.
In December last year, France's internet regulator sanctioned
Amazon.com Inc. and Google for placing advertising cookies on
users' computers from their respective French websites without
obtaining prior consent and providing adequate information.
Write to Mauro Orru at firstname.lastname@example.org; @MauroOrru94
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 13, 2021 05:24 ET (09:24 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Historical Stock Chart
From Apr 2022 to May 2022
Historical Stock Chart
From May 2021 to May 2022