Google Maps appears to be the next target of antitrust action in the United States. For the past few years, Google has been sued for antitrust violations related to its dominance in Google Search, advertisements, and control over the Android platform.
The US Justice Department has breathed new life into probes into Google Maps, according to Reuters. The antitrust investigations are looking at whether Google Maps is suffocating competition by being combined with other Google products where investigations into Maps began around 2020 but remained largely silent until lately.
It is said that it appears to be focused on two issues. First, this comprises apps for in-car infotainment systems. The "Google Automotive Services" package appears to include Maps, Google Play, and Assistant, as well as preventing carmakers from combining another voice assistant with Maps.
The probe also looks at online and app developers, as Google has a policy that requires them to choose Maps over competitors if another Google service is used on the website or app, with location search being an example.
Google claims that integration in auto systems delivers the greatest experience and that other voice assistants can operate with Maps in some cases. Google also stated that combining Google Maps with other mapping services could result in errors and that policies "stem from restrictions that partners place on how Google can use their data." They also emphasized that developers are also free to use other mapping services in addition to Google Maps Platform.