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News > Italy

Italy Fines Google 100 Million Euros For Abusing Market Position

  • Italy has fined Google €100 million for shutting out its rival’s smartphone application.

    Italy has fined Google €100 million for shutting out its rival’s smartphone application. | Photo: Twitter/@France24_en

Published 13 May 2021
Opinion

A fine of more than 100 million euros for abuse of their dominant position has been imposed by the Italian competition regulator to Google, as announced on Thursday.

The measure that will cost Google 102.084 million euros—equivalent to 123.5 million dollars—is due to the refusal of the technology giant to accept on its Google Play platform an application aimed at locating charging terminals for electric cars, highlights the statement of the Italian entity in question.

"Through the Android operating system and the Google Play app store, Google has a dominant position ("Google Play").

It should be recalled that in Italy, about three-quarters of smartphones use Android," says the regulator.

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That antitrust authority in Italy also exposed, as a result of its investigation, that the main subsidiary company of the U.S. multinational Alphabet Inc. did not authorize the use of the JuicePass application developed by Enel, the Italian energy giant, in its Android Auto system.

About this application, it is reported that "JuicePass offers a wide range of services for charging electric vehicles, from finding a charging station to managing the charging process and booking a station."

Because of the facilities offered by this electronic location tool, it represents competition for Google Maps, hence Google's conflict of interest. However, Enel's app for now only concentrates on the search for charging stations for electric vehicles.

The Italian complaint was clear: "Google, by denying Enel X Italia (...) the availability of JuicePass on Android Auto, unfairly limited the possibilities for users of Enel's app". Hence the million-dollar penalty that the technology company will have to face.

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