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French court orders Google to pay rival €500,000

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2012-02-01

A French commercial court ruled Wednesday that Google Maps had abused its dominant business position to undercut competitors and ordered the US Internet giant to pay 500,000 euros to the plaintiff in the case.

AFP - A French commercial court has found Google guilty of abusing the dominant position of its Google Maps application and ordered it to pay a fine and damages to a French mapping company.

In a ruling Tuesday, the Paris 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 court ordered Google to pay 500,000 euros ($660,000) in damages and interest to the plaintiff and a 15,000 euro fine.

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.

Date created : 2012-02-01

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