German Competition Watchdog Starts Investigation into Google Maps

Limits in the terms of use of the service could be a form of monopoly abuse. The German antitrust watchdog has launched an investigation into Google Maps for possible anti-competitive practices.


The organization wants to know whether the limits Maps places on combining its services with those of third parties could have given Maps a competitive advantage.

Specifically, the watchdog wants to find out whether the terms of use for the charting platform may be illegal. These are conditions that make it difficult for app developers to combine the Google Maps API with that of alternative map makers. The cartel watchdog would also start an investigation of Google’s Automotive Services.

“We’re going to see if Google extends its dominance in certain mapping services through this practice,” Andreas Mundt, President of Germany’s Bundeskartellamt, told Bloomberg news agency.

It is now the second Google service to be examined by the German cartel watchdog. An investigation into the company’s News Showcase has been ongoing for some time. Google itself says it is already cooperating with the investigation and argues that its customers often also use competing map services.

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