Italy’s watchdog launch probe into Google over alleged antitrust abuse


Italy’s competition watchdog announced on Friday it has opened an investigation into alleged abuse of a dominant market position by Google in the smart device sector.

In a press release, originally in Italian, the Italian Antitrust Authority said it had approved the initiation of a preliminary proceeding against Alphabet Inc., Google LLC and Google Italy S.r.l., collectively referred to as Google.

The antruist authority said  Google had allegedly refused to integrate the app “Enel X Recharge”, developed by utility Enel, in its Android Auto app.

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Enel’s app allows drivers of electric cars to find charging points for their vehicles and book them.

Google, through its Android operating system, has a dominant position in the smart device operating system market, the regulator said.

A Google spokeswoman said in a statement Android Auto was designed with safety in mind to minimize distractions and ensure apps could be used safely when driving.

“We are reviewing the complaint and look forward to working with the authority to resolve their concerns,” the spokeswoman said.

Enel declined to comment.

The investigation is due to be completed by May 30 next year.

Yetunde Adegoke

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