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Court fines Google France for giving away the Maps software for free

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Court fines Google France for giving away the Maps software for free
There's barely an Android user out there who hasn't taken advantage of Google's excellent Maps navigation service. There are still things missing from it, that exist in paid navigation apps, like true offline voice-guided navigation worldwide, so it's not encroaching on their turf just yet.

Still, this didn't prevent a French court in Paris from blasting Google with a 500, 000 Euro in damages (about $660, 000) for the simple fact that it is giving Google Maps for free.

Somehow the company Bottin Cartographes, which obviously specializes in mapping services, has managed to file this strange lawsuit, and on top of that convince the court that Google is stifling innovation by giving away its Maps service.

Short of splitting the damages and 15, 000 Euro fine awarded with the judges, we don't really see how the free Google Maps, which doesn't even offer true offline navigation, has been ruled as undercutting the paid GPS apps out there that offer it. The lawyer for Bottin Cartographes, Jean-David Scemmama, had the following comment:

This is the end of a two-year battle, a decision without precedent. We proved the illegality of (Google's) strategy to remove its competitors... the court recognised the unfair and abusive character of the methods used and allocated Bottin Cartographes all it claimed. This is the first time Google has been convicted for its Google Maps application.

By the same logic, Bottin Cartographes should sue Nokia for bundling the free Nokia Drive with its Windows Phones, and have an even more compelling case on its hands, since it offers free offline voice guidance worldwide. Google is planning to appeal, of course, and noted that there is real competition in this space, with Google Maps only being a supplementary service.

source: AFP via Engadget

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posted on 02 Feb 2012, 04:00 8

1. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

What the motherf**k?!?! That's bulls**t!

posted on 02 Feb 2012, 04:09 3

2. bloodline (Posts: 706; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)

lol just when i thought patent wars were bad enough !!! Honestly all this blame and claim, sue, patent wars is so pathetic and really needs to be regulated better.


It seems every major innovative company needs to invest heavily in great lawyers.

wish i went to law school now

posted on 02 Feb 2012, 05:32 2

3. krysis (Posts: 76; Member since: 14 Dec 2009)

I guess it's all in perspective. You can look at it as being a free service, or, a service that comes bundled with the price of the device.

posted on 02 Feb 2012, 06:08

4. asimo (Posts: 41; Member since: 05 Jan 2012)

Didn't M$ get to remove ie from windows?

posted on 02 Feb 2012, 06:55

5. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

This is just the first round in a long fight. I hope Bottin has a bunch of cash to fund the litigation.

posted on 02 Feb 2012, 07:14 4

6. DontHateOnS60 (Posts: 872; Member since: 20 Apr 2009)

Wow, so instead of spending money on trying to show that what they offer is worth what you pay for it, they're blowing money on litigation. Great move idiots. I hope Google bankrupts them.

posted on 02 Feb 2012, 15:43

9. downphoenix (Posts: 3165; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)

they're just admirers of big daddy Apple, and that's how Apple does it.

posted on 02 Feb 2012, 08:51 2

7. atheisticemetic (Posts: 377; Member since: 18 Dec 2011)

it's not like the Windows scam with their Office bundle...they need to lay off the legal wars

it's getting ridiculous

posted on 02 Feb 2012, 12:51

8. Rayzin (Posts: 83; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)

Stifling competition?! No one owns the ability to map out an area! Sorry your navigation company went out of business because someone can do it better then you. Thats like a photographer sueing google for posting images that are better then his!

posted on 02 Feb 2012, 18:20

10. ivanko34 (Posts: 617; Member since: 04 Sep 2011)

Its a trick made by this French company
They made a ugly service full of ads and you must pay for it !
Then they attack google in justice pretending they cannot compete

So the easy way to go money in France is for instance to make a pay webmail then attack gmail...

posted on 03 Feb 2012, 04:33

11. XiphiasGladius (Posts: 813; Member since: 21 Aug 2011)

If it goes by that logic, wow we could make millions oooopps I mean hundreds of thousand here bro. I just LOLed hard to that. . .

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