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French court finds Google abused Google Maps dominance

updated 06:30 pm EST, Thu February 2, 2012

Google fined in Google Maps antitrust case

France on Wednesday found that Google had allegedly abused the dominance of Google Maps to squeeze out regional competitors. The American company was asked to pay 500,000 euros ($657,350) in direct compensation as well as a 15,000-euro ($19,720) fine. Bottin Cartographes had accused Google of price dumping by using its search ad business to give away the map service for free where Bottin had to charge for the same service.

Bottin argued to the AFP that the case proved the "unfair and abusive character" of Google's practices. Google vowed to appeal the verdict and insisted both that there was competition and that free didn't necessarily mean it was unfair. The site has long argued that companies and customers aren't locked into visiting its pages, although Google's clout on the web often means that competitors who aren't ranked highly may all but disappear.

The ruling is the first of its kind for Google Maps and follows an increasing sentiment among regulators worldwide that Google may be overreaching in various areas. It currently faces a possible EU antitrust case and is currently subject to an FTC investigation. Both investigations are concerned that Google is unfairly prioritizing its own services over others and is making Android partners use Google search to get the app support they want.

Bottins first sued Google in 2010.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. facebook_Collin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2012

    +6

    What was the Google Motto Again?

    ROFL! Now they have a finding against them for anticompetitive behavior that the EU investigation can leverage. Oh, and wasn't Google going to start charging for third party use of it's maps service?

    So it looks like the Google modus operandi is steal an existing idea, undercut the people you steal from with a free to use extended beta, then start charging.

  1. chas_m

    Joined:

    +7

    Clear monopoly abuse

    Combined with the reprehensible policy changes of late (promoting Google+ over others in search for example), it's clear that Google is abusing its dominant position (near-monopoly) in the online ad business. Where's David Boies and the Department of Justice when you need them?

  1. chippie

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    I Can't Wait For The EU To Go After

    apple for locking their hardware to their software. No other computers are made this way. This restricts how the owner can use the computer that they own! Other computers can easily run other OSes. This is a standard or norm and apple restricts this.

  1. chefpastry

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    @ chippie

    You're a moron.

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