Germany launches investigation into Google Maps – DW (English)

Germany's Cartel Office has said Google Maps services could be shutting out competitors. Issues include embedding Google Maps data into other map services.
Germany’s Federal Cartel Office on Tuesday opened an investigation into Google Germany and its US parent company, Alphabet, over “possible anti-competitive restrictions” of Google Maps to the detriment of other online maps providers, according to a statement.
Cartel Office President Andreas Mundt said the agency had information to suggest that Google was “restricting the combination of its own map services with third-party map services.”
Examples include issues with embedding Google Maps location data, search functions or Google Street View into other map services.
The statement said this could “potentially impede competition in the field of map services.”
The Google Maps platform offers the integration of its maps into websites and apps. The Cartel Office also said it intended to review the licensing conditions for the integration of Google Maps into the infotainment systems of cars.
As part of the investigation, customers and competitors of the Google Maps platform “will be interviewed in the coming weeks,” the agency said.
Mundt said the watchdog was exploring whether Google can use its dominant position to “allow Google to further expand its position of power regarding certain map services.”
In January, the Cartel Office classified Google as a company of “paramount significance across markets.”
Amendments to German competition law that came into force in 2021 allow the Cartel Office to potentially ban companies with a significant market weight from carrying out practices that could potentially harm competition.
A Google spokesperson said the company was working with regulators and would answer any questions about its business.
wmr/msh (dpa, Reuters, AFP)


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