Google in France has to pay $660,000 in fine and damages to a French mapping company, after a French commercial court ruling that has found Google guilty of abusing its dominant position in mapping by making available its Google Maps application for free.
On Tuesday, February 1, the Paris court “upheld an unfair competition complaint lodged by Bottin Cartographes against Google France and its parent company Google Inc. for providing free web mapping services to some businesses,” according to The Economic Times report.
The court ruling requires Google to pay $660,000 (500,000 Euros) in damages and interest to Bottin Cartographes, along with a 15,000 Euro fine.
Bottin Cartographes provides mapping services for a cost, and its website boasts several business clients such as Louis Vuitton, Airbus and several automobile manufacturers. The French company provides the same services for a fee and claimed the Google strategy was aimed at undercutting competitors by temporarily swallowing the full cost until it gains control of the market.
“This is the end of a two-year battle, a decision without precedent,” said the lawyer for Bottin Cartographes, Jean-David Scemmama.
A Google France spokesman said the company is studying the court’s ruling and reviewing its options:
“We remain convinced that a free high-quality mapping tool is beneficial for both Internet users and websites. There remains competition in this sector for us, both in France and internationally,” the spokesman said, reports the Economic Times.