France fines Google for free maps

A French map maker which charges companies to use its maps has won its case against Google Maps for offering them for free.

Bottin Cartographes made stacks of cash charging customers to use its maps but suddenly saw its business drop when Google Maps started offering them for free.

It went to a French court and claimed that Google was trying to gain control of the market by undercutting existing French map providers, then start charging. It has a point. In the US that is exactly what Google has done, but at the time of the court case – which was nearly two years ago – no one knew this.

According to IT World,  the court decided that if Google wanted to enter the market it would have to charge for its products. The French judge banged the gravel and fined the search engine 515,000.

Needless to say, Google is a bit annoyed, and rather than think that it is lucky to have escaped without a trip to see Madame Guillotine, it plans to appeal.