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Italy opens antitrust probe into Google because of a rejected Android Auto app

Italy opens antitrust probe into Google because of a rejected Android Auto app


Enel Group says Google refused to allow a mapping app for finding charging stations

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Android Auto

Italy’s antitrust authority has become the latest international regulatory body to open an anti-competition investigation into Google, joining the European Union and the Competition Commission of India.

The regulator opened the probe on Thursday after energy company Enel Group complained that Google wouldn’t allow the “Enel X Recharge” app to work with Android Auto. Enel Group was created by the Italian government in 1962, and it was privatized in 1999, though its biggest shareholder is currently Italy’s Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Android Auto is only open to third-party developers making media or messaging apps

Google allows third-party developers to develop Android Auto-compatible versions of their apps, but only if they offer media or messaging services. Enel X Recharge is mostly dedicated to helping drivers find charging stations for electric cars.

“Android Auto is designed with safety in mind, to minimize distractions and to ensure apps can be used safely when driving,” a spokesperson for Google said in a statement. “We are reviewing the complaint and look forward to working with the authority to resolve their concerns.”

India opened its investigation into Google earlier this month, though it’s still unclear what triggered the probe. The European Union has hit Google with three fines totaling €8.2 billion ($9.3 billion) in the last three years over what it says were anti-competitive practices. The most recent €1.5 billion fine was levied in March.