- Google’s bundling practices raise competition concerns in-vehicle infotainment.
- German government probes Google’s role, contracts, and limitations on third-party services.
- Google must address allegations of potential anti-competitive practices.
Google has emerged as a major player in the vehicle infotainment industry, participating with numerous automakers to integrate Android Automotive and Google Automotive Services into their motors. However, this aggressive approach has raised concerns about capability violations of competition regulations.
The German government, especially the Bundeskartellamt (Germany’s Federal Cartel Office), is planning to request that Google alter its practices until they can be objectively justified. The bundling of the Google Play Store, Google Assistant, and Google Maps into the Google Automotive Services bundle is seen as an ability danger to the opposition, as these services aren’t to be had one at a time.
#Germany's cartel office said on Wednesday that a number of #Google's practices in connection with Google Automotive Services are anti-competitive and that it intends to prohibit them.https://t.co/mDseIXY14m— Economic Times (@EconomicTimes) June 22, 2023
By presenting a complete infotainment system through GAS and Android Automotive, Google limits the possibilities for competition within the marketplace, which the German authorities don’t forget nevertheless competitive. Furthermore, the German competition watchdog has located that Google, in a few instances, has agreed to percentage advertising revenues with automakers if they make Google Assistant the one-of-a-kind virtual assistant of their models. This contractual arrangement often leaves carmakers without a preference however to set Google offerings because of the default alternatives. Additionally, Google prevents 1/3-birthday party services from connecting to its car applications, together with voice assistants controlling navigation in Google Maps.
Google states that it’s miles already taking part with German antitrust regulators to cope with their worries. The organization emphasizes that Android Automotive offers thousands of apps, supplying carmakers and drivers with alternatives to its offerings. While Android Automotive is steadily gaining traction inside the automotive marketplace, with numerous predominant automakers incorporating the running gadget into their cars or planning to achieve this for 2024 fashions, the German enterprise believes Google may appoint similar procedures that it used efficiently in the cell enterprise to expand or secure its market function.
This raises concerns that alternative solutions on Android Automotive may be tough to observe, probably permitting Google to dominate the infotainment region. According to German authorities, Google’s anti-aggressive practices potentially violate Section 19a of the German Competition Act. Google is now required to respond to the allegations, addressing them from both real and prison views.