France: A French commercial court found Google guilty of abusing the dominant position of its Google Maps application. The court ordered it to pay EUR 500,000 (USD 660,000) in damages and interest to the plaintiff and a 15,000 euro fine.
In a ruling, the court upheld an unfair competition complaint lodged by Bottin Cartographes against Google France and its parent company Google Inc. for providing free web mapping services to some businesses.
The French company provides the same services for a fee and claimed the Google strategy was aimed at undercutting competitors by temporarily swallowing the full cost until it gains control of the market.
“This is the end of a two-year battle, a decision without precedent,” said the lawyer for Bottin Cartographes, Jean-David Scemmama. A Google France spokesman said the company was studying the ruling and considering its options. “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,” the spokesman said.
Source: Economic Times