France Convicts Google for Its Free(dom)

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.

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