Google Maps Causes New Legal Trouble for Google, This Time in Germany

Google is once again on thin ice due to one of its products, and this time, it’s none other than Google Maps.
Google Maps triggers antitrust investigation in Germany 8 photos
Photo: Google
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While for many it is just a navigation app that helps them go from where they are to where they want to be, Google Maps is actually a much more advanced platform that comes with new-generation capabilities to power a state-of-the-art mapping service.

And Germany’s competition watchdog is now trying to determine if some of the restrictions that Google has put in place for Google Maps are indeed hurting the competition or not.

More specifically, the anti-competitive analysis should help Germany’s Bundeskartellamt determine if Google is indeed restricting the combination of Google Maps and third-party map services. President Andreas Mundt says the best example is when someone wants to embed the Google Maps location data, the search feature, or the Street View imagery into another mapping service that doesn’t belong to the search giant.

However, the competition watchdog will also look into several other aspects related to Google Maps and which could represent anti-competitive practices.

We will now examine whether this practice could allow Google to further expand its position of power regarding certain map services. We will also look into the licensing terms and conditions for the use of Google’s map services in vehicles,” Mundt said.

As part of the investigations, the anti-trust body says it will interview not only Google’s competitors, which should help them understand if any violation is taking place, but also customers who can therefore explain how they interact with Google Maps and the third-party alternatives.

Needless to say, Google has refused to comment on this latest investigation, but the company claims it’s ready to work together with the regulators and help them with any information they may need.

The agency hasn’t provided an ETA as to when a final decision in this case could be made.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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