Germany launches antitrust probe against Google

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: May 25, 2021, 03:49 PM(IST)

A sign is pictured outside a Google office near the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California, US (file photo). Photograph:( Reuters )

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The watchdog office announced on Tuesday that it will observe whether the global technology giant offers enough choice to its users on how their data is used by the company

Germany’s antitrust watchdog on Tuesday launched an investigation into Google.

As part of this probe, the watchdog will assess whether Google Germany, Google Ireland and Alphabet, its parent company, are currently exploiting their market dominance.

The watchdog office announced on Tuesday that it will observe whether the global technology giant offers enough choice to its users on how their data is used by the company.

Big Tech companies are facing increased scrutiny across the globe as questions arise over how the company uses its market position and what it means for competitors. 

On May 13, Italy's anti-trust authority fined Google over $120 million (100 million euros) for shutting out a rival’s mobile application which offered recharging for electric vehicles.

The Italian authority said that Google had abused its market position by blocking an application by Enel X for owners of electric vehicles. Google’s Android operating system's Google Play marketplace dominates the Italian market.

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In addition, the regulator had said that now Google would be required to make Enel X’s application available on Android Auto, which essentially mirrors the features of an Android smartphone on a dashboard screen in cars.

The fine was imposed for violation of article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The article regulates monopolies and observes restriction of competition.

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"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," the Italian authority was cited as saying by AFP."The exclusion of the Enel X Italia app from Android Auto has been going on for more than two years, and if it were to continue, could permanently jeopardise Enel X Italia's chances of building a solid user base at a time of significant growth in sales of electric vehicles”, it added.

(With inputs from agencies)

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