Google fined $123 million in Italy for abusing Android Auto dominance

Android Auto in Volkswagen ID.4 App Selections

Credit: C. Scott Brown / Android Authority
  • Google has been fined ~$123.1 million for excluding an EV charging app from Android Auto.
  • Italy’s competition authority found that Google favored its own Maps app for EV charging points.

Google has already been slapped with several hefty fines in recent years due to antitrust violations in its various businesses. Now, Italy’s antitrust watchdog has hit Google with a €102 million (~$123.1 million) fine for excluding a third-party app from Android Auto.

The fine was handed down after the Italian Competition Authority found Google barred charging station app JuicePass from Android Auto. JuicePass helps users find and reserve electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, while also letting you manage charging sessions, among other features.

“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,” read an excerpt of the watchdog’s press release (spotted by Reuters), which also noted that JuicePass had been barred from Android Auto for over two years now.

The authority found that Google “consequently favored its own Google Maps app” for Android Auto, which also helps users find and reach EV charging points. Italy’s watchdog also declared that Google’s actions, if allowed to continue, could “permanently jeopardize” the JuicePass team’s chances of growing their user base.

Google “respectfully disagrees” with the Italian authority’s findings and would decide its next steps, Reuters quoted a company spokesperson as saying.

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