lets motorists directly access relevant apps (like maps and music streaming services) via a dash-mounted screen. But Enel X Italia’s JuicePass granted access to.just over €100 million (~$123M) by Italy’s antitrust watchdog for abuse of a dominant market position. The case relates to Android Auto, a modified version of OS intended for in-car use, specifically to how Google restricted access to the platform to an electric car charging app called JuicePass, made by energy company Enel X Italia. Android Auto
Google’s market restriction of JuicePass has drawn the attention — and now the ire — of Italy’s competition watchdog. Theplatform — but of course, a driver shouldn’t be reaching for their phone when at the wheel. So barring access through Android Auto puts a significant blocker on relevant usage. The AGCM said today that Google had violated Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the — and has ordered it to make the JuicePass available via the platform.
It also says Google must provide the same interoperability with Android Auto to other third-party app developers. The authority points out that the app, which offers some essential services for electric vehicle charging (such as finding and getting directions to charging points), is available via Android Auto — and could, in the future, incorporate directly competitive features like payments.
“According to the Authority’s findings, Google did not allow Enel X Italia to develop a version of its JuicePass app compatible with Android Auto, a specific Androidis driving in compliance with safety, as well as distraction reduction, requirements,” the AGCM writes in a press release announcing the sanction [translated to English using Google Translate]. “JuicePass enables a wide range of services for recharging electric vehicles, ranging from finding a charging station to managing the charging session and reserving a place at the station; this latter function guarantees the actual availability of the infrastructure once the user reaches it.
“By refusing Enel X Italia interoperability with Android Auto,the possibilities for end-users to avail themselves of the Enel X Italia app when driving and recharging an electric vehicle. app, which runs on Android Auto and enables functional services for electric vehicle charging. It is currently limited to finding and getting directions to reach charging points, but it could include other functionalities such as reservation and payment.”
app has been excluded from Android Auto for over two years.any wrongdoing and says it disagrees with the order. But it did not confirm whether or not it intends to appeal. The claims the restrictions on apps’ access to Android Auto are necessary to ensure drivers are not distracted. It also told us that it has been opening up the platform to more with “thousands” now compatible. It added that it intends to keep expanding availability. However, for recharging electric vehicles was not among the “thousands” it has already granted access. Per the AGCM, Enel X Italia’s
Here’s Google’s statement:
According to the competition watchdog, Google has a dominant position in the market via the Android smartphone platform, with a marketshare in Italy of around three-quarters. Under European Union law, a finding of market dominance in one market puts a responsibility on a company not to restrict competition in any other markets where it operates — and the EU already found Google to be a dominant company in general Internet search in every market in the European Economic Area back in 2017.
The AGCM said it’s concerned about the impact of Google’s restrictions on app access to Android Auto on the growth of the electric mobility market. “If it were to continue, [it] could permanently jeopardize Enel X Italia’s chances of building a solid user base at a time of significant growth in sales of electric vehicles,” it wrote, adding that meant it did not appear in the list of applications used by users — thereby reducing consumer choice and creating a barrier to innovation. The authority suggests Google’s conduct could influence the development of electric as recharging infrastructures for electric cars are being built out and can help fuel growth and demand for restoring services.