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French courts fines Google for offering free mapping services

By Jos · 33 replies
Feb 2, 2012
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  1. Google Maps can be a godsend for travelers visiting a new city or even locals wandering into an unfamiliar location. However, at least according to a commercial court in Paris,…

    Read the whole story
  2. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,484   +1,288

    You have got to be kidding?! If I was google, I wouldn't even bother in france after that outcome.
  3. example1013

    example1013 TS Enthusiast Posts: 263


    And people think US business laws are ridiculous.
  4. Scshadow

    Scshadow TS Evangelist Posts: 561   +199

    This is why humanity can't have good things. Some *******s is always going to try and ruin it.
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,266   +4,935

    Hurry, lets make it illegal to give anything for free. Make it a law against giving Christmas gifts from underneath the tree without selling them first.

    They are ridiculous.
  6. example1013

    example1013 TS Enthusiast Posts: 263

    Compared to French laws? One French town banned Coca-Cola. France has threatened sanctions over wine and cheese laws. And now, providing a free service is "monopolistic and anti-competitive".
  7. People working on the other companies live from the money they earn giving that service, not like google than lives because is the only engine everyone use.

    It is like if tomorrow a company than is the competition of the one you work gives everything for free, you should have to do the same with your job.

    People want cheap things and free stuft, but.... they don´t want to give their jobs for free or have low salary.

    It isn't that insane what happen in france if you think about it.... a little.
  8. So is map quest and yahoo maps going to get fined too or are they not good enouph or known enouph !

    this is so stupid
  9. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 821   +29

    Wow never thought I would see anyone rule free as anti-competitive :p. This is just down right crazy. I know France had some very restrictive & odd laws but I think is takes the cake from what I have heard.
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,266   +4,935

    Times change. Mapping services no longer pays. There has been thousands of services that paid at one time and no longer pays today. Time for mapping services to be added to the list. Besides there is more to mapping services than what Google is giving for free. Mapping services can still make money from services that are not given free from Google.
  11. Muggs

    Muggs TS Rookie Posts: 56

    Just ridiculous and at best laughable and does not surprise me in the least that it is coming from France. What's next a lawsuit against email from the snail mail purveyors.
  12. As surprizing as it looks, this court decision is completely understandable.
    - in France, almost everybody use Google (> 92%) => dominant market position.
    - Google favours its Gmaps service in their results => abuse of dominant market position.
    - Google offers Gmpas service for free while they are paying for it (suppliers are TELEATLAS and NAVTEQ) (In fact, they use the adds to pay themself) => abuse of dominant market position.

    ==> No fair competition allowed.

    As a Gmaps active user, I'm very glad that the service is free though! :-D

    I would add to those criticizing those laws that they are really much stupid laws in the world (especially in the US where we have so dumb lawsuits). Please, have a look at http://www.dumblaws.com.
  13. example1013

    example1013 TS Enthusiast Posts: 263


  14. How is directing someone to your service after you go to their website abuse. Oh you can offer a free search service but don't dare make money off of it because that would be unfair. Also there are other free map sites and if you push google out guess what the others will fill that void so fast it will make your head spin.

    Also the lawsuit makes the assumption that google will eventually charge and that is why they are driving out others with free service now. Which is just asinine and shows what a mickey mouse court system the french have.

    Of course the Eurozone has *****ic rules when it comes to software. Look at windows version E or N and chuckle. Really windows media player was deemed unfair too.
  15. I think it is stupid as well for Google to be fined for Google Maps. Although I use Map Quest more often then Google maps, are they going to fine Map Quest as well.

    How about searching, it is a free service as well.

    I know the French should make Google charge everyone in France for using any of their services.
  16. TJGeezer

    TJGeezer TS Enthusiast Posts: 385   +10

    No doubt that's true. Google makes plenty of money without charging users for its free services, thank you. They do it by understanding the digital economy and the value of their ads, not by charging for consumer services like Google Maps.

    French mapping industry and doddering judges, say hello to the music and movie industries. You have much in common, given your ambitions to screw consumers.
  17. BlackIrish

    BlackIrish TS Rookie Posts: 79

    There is a bit of sense in the court's decision... not that I agree with it.

    What they meant to say I think is, that Google is running the Gmaps service at a loss (paying for the expenses from ad revenue form it's search engine advertising service - Adwords), which in return makes small players that don't have other sources of income to go out of business.

    Kind of like Intel deciding to start giving away free pairs of shoes to people. They are not making money from the activity (but they can easily fund it from their unrelated semiconductor sector earnings), only increasing their brand reputation and getting smaller shops to close down.
  18. ramonsterns

    ramonsterns TS Enthusiast Posts: 744   +13

    I used t' be a privateer, then t' government took me job away and did it themselves!
  19. This is the dumbest thing I have heard in a while. Map Quest offered free mapping well before Google Maps came around, but they chose to go after Google because... ?

    So stupid.
  20. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,367   +1,819

    Google Maps isn't the only free service around. The lawsuit is stupid and google will win. i'm sure of it.
  21. viperpfl

    viperpfl TS Member Posts: 40

    This company can't compete in the marketplace, plain and simple. You can compete with free if you offer a service that people are willing to pay for. It seems companies these days can't make money the old fashioned way. Companies that don't whine and complain are the companies that innovate. They offer customers what they want so they end up buying more.
  22. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,958   +576

    The law is fine but this is the crux of the issue. Google has been in the game for a loooooong time and has not looked like making their service paid. Court got the ruling wrong imo.
  23. Marv

    Marv TS Rookie

    Don't forget that France's foreign policy is atrocious. They were one of the major backers/founders of the EU, but are still massively protectionist with their foreign policy.The EU has been tailored to fit France's ideal (hence the CAP which benefits French farmers most for example), as though France protects its own businesses interests, even to the extent of fining/shutting down competitors that harm French business' interests.

    The US certainly used to do the same thing, and it wouldn't surprise me if it still did to an extent. Protectionism can be good and bad (also depends upon perspective), but in this case in particular, it's ludicrous.
  24. pixelstuff

    pixelstuff TS Rookie Posts: 19

    Why don't they just start charging if you live in France? We'll see how many French people that pisses off because they have to pay while the rest of the world doesn't. Not to mention we'd also see if the other French mapping services are even worth a mention under "fair" competition.

    Then third, it really just boils down to a free money give-away in France. All you need is a half baked product like a search engine, email, calendar, cloud productivity suite, or any other similar service to Google's free offerings, start charging money for it, and then you can get some money from Google.
  25. Well, absolutely nobody knows or use MapQuest in France... same goes for bingmaps by the way.

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