Google sued in France over Google Maps

By Justin Mann on July 29, 2009, 12:15 PM
Google is under some legal pressure overseas this week, following a French company's decision to take them to court. Citing unfair competition, Bottin Cartographies is demanding roughly $700,000 dollars in compensation. The heart of the matter is their web mapping services, which are made freely available to businesses around the world. While Google’s aim is to generate revenue through advertising, as it has always been, Bottin sees it as an attempt to stifle and swallow the market by undercutting any competitors.

Naturally, Bottin Cartographies provides web mapping services for a fee. Whether or not their complaint has any basis, you really must wonder how solid their business plan is if a company can beat them with a free product. What do they expect Google to do in response, begin charging for Google Maps? Refuse to offer the service? Neither is likely and would work against Google's own goals.

Putting it in another perspective, imagine if all Internet search was a paid service ten years ago, only to be bested by Google's free options. Is there really room to complain? Google is not commenting on the situation, but as huge as they are now I doubt they will roll over for anyone.




User Comments: 9

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JDoors JDoors said:

So now anything that's "free" is anti-competitive? Consumers lose again!

Phantasm66 Phantasm66 said:

I see, I see, I see..... Google is going to become the new target of these rounds of legal rubbish. Just like Microsoft, once a company gets big and successful, they start getting folks all over the place taking them to court.

Yes JDoors, you are right - consumer to lose again.

Phantasm66 Phantasm66 said:

Oh, and can anyone name an incident where all this excessive legal attacking of Microsoft has improved things for them as a consumer? Answers on a post card please.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

What's up with Europe? They don't know how to make money other than to sue American software and application companies providing a service?

I'm telling ya, if I were Google and MS, I'd be > < that far away from telling them all to go screw themselves and they're welcome to come up with their own products. It's not like they're making plenty of money as is from the rest of the world. No need to put up with that...

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Oh, and can anyone name an incident where all this excessive legal attacking of Microsoft has improved things for them as a consumer? Answers on a post card please.
You do understand that a postcard must meet a minimum size standard to be mailable, don't you.

As to the topic; Google should sue the map makers, since giving away a service that is generating revenue for another organization, would easily fly as, "unfair pricing policies".

Guest said:

What's up with Europe? They don't know how to make money other than to sue American software and application companies providing a service?

Sorry not Europe, A French company, that doesn't mean the whole of Europe, don't paint us all with the same brush!

And before you start complaining oh it's one of those "Guest/s" being aggressive or ignorant again (Yes I've read the members complaints on here about Guests, I visit and read the news on here regularly), I'm just correcting a point you made.

And yes Europe does know how to make money, GDP of Europe - $18.2 Trillion - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_European_countries_by_G
P_%28nominal%29

GDP of USA - $13.8 Trillion

Although it does take only the 9 biggest Economies in Europe to match the US GDP, out of the 44 Countries mentioned in the link above.

Anyway France is in Europe like 40 odd other countries (Including the UK where I'm from), It's not our problem if companies or the EC want to sue other companies, yeah it looks bad that all the rubbish is dropping on American companies currently, what the heck can we do? life isn't fair, it just so happens that the biggest targets are the easiest to attack but the hardest to bring down.

I have no problem with Google providing the Maps service like probably 99.9% of everyone else in Europe, it's just that 0.1% of ****** that don't seem to like or want it and I wouldn't surprised if it's the same with the EC/Microsoft case, those 0.1% of ****** are the usual complainers who try to find anything wrong with something, I'm sure the US like every Country in the World is the same with them.

It isn't good for consumers I agree, I would hate having to pay to see a Maps service that is currently free, that French company thinks it might be losing out on revenues it currently gets by charging for a map service, so it wants to sue because it can't be bothered to be inventive like Google has been, that's my opinion on it anyway.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Actually, the attorneys for Bottin Cartographies probably studied law in the US. I thought we were the only country to come up with lawsuits that frivolous.

Guest said:

It seems you do not really understand the issue. I guess the complain is not to give free map access to customers but to enterprises. Map data is quite expensive so if you give them for free to anybody, it seems that's because you have one good reason to do so...

competition always benefit to the consumer... so where there is not competition anymore, i let you imagine what happens.

raybay said:

The Lawyers win, whether the Bottin Cartographies or Google Maps does or not.

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