by Mike Masnick
Wed, Mar 12th 2008 1:16am
It's been nearly two years since we pointed out that the EU's "Quaero" project appeared to be nothing more than a scam to trick clueless bureaucrats into funnelling tons of money into private companies hoping they would somehow create a "Google-killer." There were no plans. There was no website. There was no technology. There was merely a bunch of random companies all saying they would do something vague, if only the government gave them money. Well, the EU has now granted the wish, giving France permission to distribute $152 million to a bunch of companies. Note, again, that they're not giving this money to some startup that thinks it has a Google killer. In fact, everyone admits that the various companies involved all have divergent interests. In other words, this money is going into a black hole where it will be spent on whatever each company wants to spend it on. The idea that a Google-killer will emerge is laughable. Just the fact that it's been many years since the project was first proposed and they're just getting around to funding it now should give you a sense of how backwards this plan is. You don't create a Google-killer by announcing such plans, getting a bunch of big companies to line up for a handout and then taking years to actually give out way more money than is needed.
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