We like many things about Google but google maps.. that’s a different matter !
A congressional report discovered by The Information includes claims against the Mountain View-based tech giant whose Google Maps service has allegedly abused the power on the market to prevent developers from using other mapping providers simultaneously.
Mapbox, an open-source mapping platform that provides developers with a dedicated API and SDK to build custom maps, is believed to be involved in the claims against Google.
At the same time, some companies investing in rival mapping services claim that pre-loading Google Maps on Android gives the search giant an unfair advantage over products from other developers.
“Market participants explained that the default placement of Google Maps on Android devices also disadvantages third-party mapping providers technologically. If a developer chooses a third-party mapping provider when building an app, downloading that app on Android would involve downloading both the app features and the mapping functionality. Choosing to develop the app with Google Maps, by contrast, would reduce the app’s file size on Android, as Google Maps is already on the device,” the report reads on page 110.
While Google hasn’t responded to these claims, it’s not the first time Google Maps is criticized for possible anti-competitive practices. Back in 2015, the European Union reached out to a series of GPS companies, including TomTom and HERE, to figure out if Google Maps as a whole, and the simple thing that it comes pre-loaded on Android, is hurting their businesses.
Google’s legal troubles across the world, however, aren’t new. After being fined by the European Union, Google has agreed to provide users with a search engine choice screen when setting up new Android devices, allowing them to also enable a service other than its own.
Since 2010, Google has been involved in three different antitrust investigations in Europe, and most recently, the competition watchdog started a probe to determine whether the acquisition of wearable giant Fitbit is violating antitrust regulations. A decision is expected by December.