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Google facing antitrust probe in Italy over rejected Android Auto app

The Italian Competition Authority opened a probe into Google LLC's alleged abuse of a dominant market position in operating systems for smart devices.

The antitrust watchdog said May 17 that Google allegedly refused to integrate Enel X Recharge, an app developed by utility company Enel SpA, into its Android Auto platform. It argued that the move restricts the app's usability, namely to provide information to electric car drivers on where to find and book charging columns for their vehicles.

"Google seems to have an interest in defending and strengthening the business model of its Google Maps app, which offers a wide range of services to end users, including information on the location of columns for charging electric cars and directions on how to reach them," the Italian Competition Authority, or AGCM, said.

Google's parent Alphabet Inc. and local subsidiary Google Italy SRL were also named as respondents in the investigation, which is expected to end May 30, 2020.

In response, Google said it looks forward to addressing the AGCM's concerns. It said Android Auto was designed to ensure that drivers could use the apps on the platform safely when driving, with minimal distractions, Reuters reported.

Google is also facing a complaint from German price comparison portal idealo internet GmbH over its alleged failure to treat all products and price comparison services equally. In March, the tech giant was fined €1.49 billion by the European Commission for anti-competitive practices on its AdSense for Search platform.