Feeds

French court lays le smackdown on Google Maps

Fined for unfair competition in online cartography

The essential guide to IT transformation

A French court has found Google Maps guilty of unfair competition and ordered the Chocolate Factory to pay a fine and damages to a French mapping firm.

Bottin Cartographes had complained to the court that Google France and its parent Google were creating a dominant position for themselves in the market by providing their web-mapping services to businesses for free.

The commercial court in Paris agreed with Bottin and ordered the search giant to pay €500,000 (£415,600) in damages and interest and a €15,000 (£12,470) fine.

Bottin provides its maps for a fee and said that Google was undercutting it with its crazy free map strategy, which it would then change once it had gained control of the market.

"This is the end of a two-year battle, a decision without precedent," the lawyer for Bottin Cartographes, Jean-David Scemama told AFP.

"We proved the illegality of [Google's] strategy to remove its competitors... the court recognised the unfair and abusive character of the methods used and allocated Bottin Cartographes all it claimed.

"This is the first time Google has been convicted for its Google Maps application," he said.

However, Google France said it is planning to appeal the decision.

"We remain convinced that a free high-quality mapping tool is beneficial for both internet users and websites. There remains competition in this sector for us, both in France and internationally," a spokesman said.

It's not the first time that Mountain View has run afoul of les autorités.

French search engine 1plusV is also taking the Chocolate Factory to court over market dominance, saying that its command of the search world had blocked the development of rival services in the country.

And El Goog swallowed a €100,000 fine from the French privacy regulator for improperly gathering and storing data for Street View in March last year. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Redmond resists order to hand over overseas email
Court wanted peek as related to US investigation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.