Feeds

French court lays le smackdown on Google Maps

Fined for unfair competition in online cartography

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.