Google Maps accused of unfair competition in France
A French company is taking Google Maps to court for unfair competition, seeking 500,000 euros (706,000 dollars) in damages from the US-based Internet giant, a judicial official said Wednesday.
Bottin Cartographes has lodged a complaint with the Paris commercial court against Google France and its parent company Google Inc. for providing free web mapping services to some businesses.
The French company provides the same services for a fee and claims the Google strategy is aimed at undercutting competitors by temporarily swallowing the full cost until it gains control of the market.
"Google is ruining the market," said lawyer Jean-David Scemama, representing Bottin Cartographes, based in Suresnes, outside Paris.
"Their strategy is to capture the market and squeeze out the competition by creating a monopoly for itself," he said.
Scemama said Google was offering the map services to some companies for their internal use with the understanding that it could provide advertising on this site.
A spokesman for Google reached by AFP declined to comment on the case.
Hearings are set to begin on October 16.
(c) 2009 AFP