Bonn The Bundeskartellamt is now also targeting Google’s map service. “We are investigating indications that Google is restricting the combination of its map services with third-party map services,” the authority said on Tuesday. This means, for example, the possibility of integrating location data, the search function or the street views of Google Street View into maps that do not come from the Internet group. The cartel office will now examine whether Google can “expand its position of power in certain map services” through the practice.
Among other things, the Group offers the possibility to integrate its maps into websites and apps via the Google Maps platform. The cartel office also wants to review the licensing conditions for the integration of Google Maps into the infotainment systems of cars.
Google replied that developers and companies chose the platform “from a variety of options”. “In addition to the Google Maps platform, you can also use other map services – and many do.” Google is always working with regulators and is happy to answer any questions.
The investigation is based on extended powers of the Antitrust Office for companies with “outstanding cross-market significance for competition”. The authority counts Google as one of them at the end of last year. She is already checking the conditions for data processing and the news offer Google News Showcase at the Internet group.
Following the new possibilities for taking action against companies with cross-market competitive significance that have been in force since the beginning of 2021, the antitrust office also conducted investigations into the Facebook group Meta, Amazon and Apple. According to the authority, meta also falls under the definition, as it announced at the beginning of May. At Apple and Amazon, this check is still ongoing.
Last week, however, the antitrust office already initiated proceedings against Apple in connection with new privacy features that allow users to prevent developers from tracking their activities across different apps and websites. The agency wants to check whether Apple could gain advantages with it.