Federal Cartel Office initiates proceedings against Google

The Bundeskartellamt would like to investigate whether Google is restricting the services of third parties through its position of power with Google Maps.

The Federal Cartel Office has initiated proceedings against Google Germany and Alphabet Inc. It is being examined whether there are possible restrictions on competition at Google Maps at the expense of alternative map services and whether the group is exploiting its market power. This emerges from a press release by the Federal Cartel Office.

Cartel Office examines possible distortion of competition on the part of Google

Since the Google Maps service cannot be combined with other map providers, the Bundeskartellamt sees a possible distortion of competition here. As a platform, Google offers access to various map services, for example to integrate maps on third-party sites to display the locations of shops and hotels. However, Google limits these options by not being able to combine them with Google Maps. This approach hinders competition in the field of card services.

The Cartel Office also wants to review the license terms for integrating Google maps into car infotainment systems. Here, too, Google is supposed to regulate the market heavily by using its own “Google Automotive Services”.

Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt on the proceedings:

“As a company with outstanding cross-market importance, Google is subject to stricter abuse control. We are investigating indications that Google is restricting the combination of its map services with map services from third parties. This concerns, for example, the possibility of using location data from Google Maps, the search function or Google Street View on non-Google We will now examine, among other things, whether Google could further extend its position of power with certain map services through this practice. The examination also extends to licensing conditions for the use of Google’s map services in vehicles.”

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