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France Convicts Google for Its Free(dom)

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France Convicts Google for Its Free(dom)

Bottin Cartographes, shown here on a Google Map, filed and won a complaint against the search giant because Bottin charges for things Google gives away.

Google's business model has been convicted in France, again, for being too effectively competitive.

Offering Google maps for free, according to a commercial court, is anti-competitive (seriously?) because other French companies offer the same product for a price (ok, seriously?).

Mountain View's search giant was ordered to pay 500,000 euros in damages ($654,000) and interest, plus a 15,000 euro fine ($19,622) on Jan. 31, according to Agence-France Press.

The court upheld an unfair competition complaint filed by Bottin Cartographers for providing free web mapping services "to some businesses." Bottin provides the same service, but for a fee.

The quotes given to AFP are priceless.

From Bottin's lawyer: "...the court recognized the unfair and abusive character of the methods used (by Google)."

From Google's lawyer: "We will appeal this decision."

French courts are a known legal battleground for Google, with a March fine of 100,000 euros for collecting private data as it compiled its Street View service.

Related Topics Google, France
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