Feeds

French court lays le smackdown on Google Maps

Fined for unfair competition in online cartography

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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. ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know
What do you mean, we've ditched Redmond in favour of IBM?!
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.