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German Court Rules Against Google in Competition Case

 |  February 21, 2024

Germany’s highest court has delivered a blow to technology behemoth Google, rejecting its appeal in a case centered on the divulgence of confidential information to its rivals. The ruling, issued by the court in Karlsruhe, stems from an investigation by Germany’s Cartel Office into allegations of market exploitation related to infotainment systems for vehicles.

The verdict permits the competition watchdog to share segments of its investigation with sat-nav specialist TomTom and voice assistant provider Cerence, enabling them to assess whether competition concerns are warranted. Key among the court’s decisions is the requirement for Google to disclose its practices to competitors, save for a lone direct quote from the company’s internal documents.

The ruling clarified that passages not deemed as business secrets or those where the Cartel Office’s interest in clarifying facts outweighed Google’s confidentiality concerns would be shared. At the heart of the matter is the German competition authority’s endeavor to curb what it perceives as anti-competitive practices related to Google’s Automotive Services (GAS), reported Yahoo News.

Related: German Watchdog Probes Google’s Car-Tech Packages

GAS comprises a bundle featuring the Google Maps map service, a variant of the Google Play app store, and the Google Assistant voice assistant, typically offered to vehicle manufacturers as a unified package. The court’s decision underscores the intensifying scrutiny faced by major tech firms over their market dominance and business practices.

Google’s response to the ruling and its potential implications remains awaited, with industry experts and stakeholders keenly observing the unfolding legal developments. As regulatory bodies worldwide increasingly focus on curbing monopolistic tendencies in the tech sector, this ruling could mark a significant milestone in shaping future competition dynamics.

Source: News Yahoo