by Mike Masnick
Tue, Feb 14th 2012 4:15am
Three years ago, we wrote about Bottin Cartographes, a French mapping company, suing Google because Google offers its Google Maps product (mostly) for free. Bottin argued that this was unfair competition, and suggested that it was a version of dumping -- whereby Google was giving away the product to intentionally wipe out the competition, at which point it would raise prices. Amazingly, an economically clueless French court has now agreed, and told Google to pay a fine and damages for its nefarious practice of giving away a product "for free." This is, to put it mildly, ridiculous. Is there any example of Google first wiping out all competition in a market with a free product... and then suddenly jacking up its prices? Yes, Google recently started charging for those who uses its mapping API a lot, but there's nothing, whatsoever, to suggest that the use of free here is somehow an anti-competitive move, rather than just a recognition of a wider strategy. In the meantime, if Google offering free maps in France is somehow illegal, you have to wonder what they think of a project like OpenStreetMap?
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- AT&T's DirecTV Deal Flies Under The Comcast-Hate Radar, Will Likely See FCC Approval
- Japanese Court Orders Google To Remove Customer Reviews From Its Maps Service -- Globally
- Cable's Top Lobbyist Just Can't Understand Why People Like Google Better
- Hosting Companies Threaten To Leave France Over (Yet Another) Surveillance Law. But Where Could They Go?
- Presidential Hopeful Carly Fiorina Displays Astounding Ignorance In Slamming Net Neutrality