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Bundeskartellamt: Google Maps should put alternative map services at a disadvantage

Image: Google

The Federal Cartel Office has initiated proceedings because Google could put competing providers at a disadvantage when it comes to mapping services. Google Maps therefore limits the ability to combine information from the map service with third-party maps.

Specifically, these are the options for integrating location data from Google Maps, the search function or Google Street View on non-Google maps. In the case of Google in particular, this could be anti-competitive intervention because the group has a dominant position in the market, according to the announcement by the Bundeskartellamt.

Among other things, we will now examine whether this practice could further expand Google’s position of power over certain mapping services. The test runs parallel to the license conditions for the use of Google map services in vehicles“says Bundeskartellamt president Andreas Mundt. Google Automotive Services” in infotainment systems, which are also heavily regulated, are relevant to cars.

Further proceedings are ongoing

Thanks to a new legal basis, the Federal Cartel Office has been able to open a large number of cases in recent months which, in addition to Google, also affect Amazon, Apple and the parent company of Facebook Meta. The other proceedings against Google concern the group’s data processing and the Google News Showcase. With this service, the search engine operator collaborates with print publishers, who receive compensation for providing content.

Just last week, the Federal Cartel Office also filed a lawsuit against Apple. The reason is the tracking rules in effect since iOS 14.5. Due to this requirement, users must first accept third-party app tracking. The Bundeskartellamt welcomes these regulations in principle, but they should apply to everyone in line with the competition, and thus also to Apple. But competition authorities doubt it. The charge in the process is that Apple prefers their own offerings.

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