Google Maps in the crosshairs of the competition authority in Germany – High-tech


The American group Alphabet, parent company of Google, is targeted in Germany by an investigation by the police of competition, because of alleged “restrictive practices” on its mapping service Google Maps, announced Tuesday the German federal anti-cartel office .

The authority indicates in a press release that it has “initiated proceedings against Google Germany and Alphabet (…) concerning possible practices restrictive of competition to the detriment of alternative mapping services on its Google Maps platform”.

In concrete terms, the American giant is accused of “limiting the possibility of combining Google’s mapping service with maps (made) by third parties“, detailed the institute.

This practice “risks hampering competition in the field of mapping services”, he adds.

The anti-cartel office therefore intends, as part of its investigation, to examine “whether this practice allows Google to extend its position of strength” in the online mapping market.

“Google customers and competitors” will be interviewed “in the coming weeks”, adds the agency.

“Google, as a company exercising a dominant position on the markets, is subject to increased surveillance in terms of abuse”, comments Andreas Mundt, its president.

The opening of this investigation is permitted by a law that came into force last year, which strengthens the powers of the German competition policeman against large digital companies.

This legislation allows him in particular to take immediate actionor initiate investigations, to prevent certain anti-competitive practices.

The only condition: that the company be considered in a situation of “dominant position on the market”, a qualification appreciated by the office.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, and Meta, which manages Facebook, have both been placed under enhanced surveillance by the Office after being placed in this category.

Amazon and Apple are also targeted, but have not yet received this qualification.

The authority indicates in a press release that it has “initiated proceedings against Google Germany and Alphabet (…) concerning possible practices restrictive of competition to the detriment of alternative mapping services on its Google Maps platform”. to the American giant to “limit the possibility of combining Google’s mapping service with maps (made) by third parties”, detailed the institute. This practice “risks hampering competition in the field of mapping services” , he adds. The anti-cartel office therefore intends, as part of its investigation, to examine “whether this practice allows Google to extend its position of strength” in the online mapping market. “Customers and competitors of Google “will be questioned” in the coming weeks, adds the agency. dt, its president. The opening of this investigation is permitted by a law that came into force last year, which strengthens the powers of the German competition policeman against large digital companies. This legislation allows him in particular to take immediate measures , or open investigations, to prevent certain anti-competitive practices. Only condition: that the company be considered in a situation of “dominant position on the market”, a qualification appreciated by the office. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, and Meta , which manages Facebook, have both been put under enhanced surveillance by the Office after being placed in this category. Amazon and Apple are also targeted, but have not yet received this qualification.

.

Leave a Comment