Google faces a $ 120 million fine in Italy
Google faces a $ 120 million fine in Italy

The Italian competition authority ICA imposed a $ 120 million fine on Google for blocking the sending of third-party apps via Android Auto in 2019.

The case began with an investigation into the search giant's auto software business, which as of October 2020 included restrictions on the types of applications that could be developed and approved for use while driving.

Italian energy company Enel Group initially complained in 2019 that Google had not allowed the use of the Enel X Recharge app via Android Auto.

You can use the app to find out where electric cars are charged. Google first added this feature to its maps in 2018.

The Italian Competition Authority fine focuses on the Enel X JuicePass, a popular version of the same app with the same characteristics as an electric vehicle.

In addition to fines, the Italian competition authority is asking Google to open Android Auto to more developers, which the company has previously done, and to allow the Enel group to enter the platform.

The decision states: Authorities have instructed Google to provide the Enel group and other app developers with tools that can be used to program interoperable applications via Android Auto.

He added: The agency monitors the effective and correct implementation of the obligations imposed by independent experts, and Google must provide it with all the necessary cooperation and information.

Authorities said the fine was due to the fact that Google tends to apply Maps to outside options. By rejecting the interoperability with Android Auto, Google is wrongly preventing users from using the Enel suite of apps while driving and charging electric cars.

Before changing the apps that allow this, Google will ask Android Auto to include the messaging or media playback option and provide Waze navigation and map.

Since the company changed course, similar JuicePass charging apps (like ChargePoint) have launched cross-platform without any issues.

Since ICA opened its investigation before Google loosened restrictions, complaints from the Enel Group may have prompted the change in the first place.

Google stated that it does not agree with the authorities' decision, saying: The main function of the Android Auto platform is to ensure that the applications can be used safely while driving. Therefore, we have strict guidelines based on the types of applications currently supported. Driver distraction tests, plus regulations and industry standards, are thousands powered by Android. Self-compliant applications. Our goal is to make their apps available to more developers over time.

The search giant added: The Enel group can use any of the navigation or reservation forms it provides to integrate its app with Android Auto.

Android Auto is growing in popularity, and Google has established direct relationships with European automakers such as Volvo.

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