DOJ reports Google Maps probe, raising antitrust concerns

Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai in Warsaw, Poland on March 29, 2022.

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The Department of Justice has renewed its focus on Google Maps, in addition to its already widespread antitrust investigation into the company, politics And Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

DOJ is focusing on whether Google illegally combined its mapping and search products by making app developers use them together, the outlet reported, citing unnamed sources. Politico also reports that the DOJ is looking into how Google bundles maps, app stores, and voice assistants for automakers through Google Automotive Services.

Reuters reported last March that the Department was reviewing the Google Maps package. But the probe appears to have accelerated as Politico and Bloomberg reported that the Justice Department has re-interviewed potential witnesses, including competitors and customers, in recent weeks.

A lawsuit could happen as soon as this year, Politico reported, although sources told the news agency that no decision has been made on whether to file a lawsuit.

DOJ filed two antitrust lawsuits against Google: One in 2020 against Google its search product distributionand a month ago focus on it online advertising business.

Google also has to face some lawsuits from coalitions of state attorneys general, focusing on issues similar to DOJ cases as well Google Play Mobile App Store.

In a statement, a Google spokesperson said developers “are free to use mapping services other than the Google Maps Platform – and many have done so.”

The spokesperson added that Google faces “huge competition in the connected car space,” and that automakers using Google’s Android Automotive OS are also not required to use it. its auto services.

“We always cooperate with regulators and are happy to answer any questions they may have about our business,” a spokesperson said.

A DOJ spokesman declined to comment.

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