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Google Maps Ruled Anti-competitive in France

A French court has decided that Google is guilty of anti-competitive behaviour with its Google Maps service, ordering the online giant to pay out just under half a million pounds sterling.

This case hit a court room because of a French map making firm, Botting Cartographes, complained that Google was muscling in on its business by providing a free service. Botting also offers maps, but it charges a fee for them. I suppose AA route finder, map quest and others could be on the agenda at some point too, all of which offer free mapping services.

However in this case, The Paris court has ordered Google to pay out £415,000 or 500,000 euros to Botting in damages, with a further £12,500 fine.

Wired has a quote from Bottin Cartographes Lawyer, who stated: "This is the end of a two-year battle, a decision without precedent. We proved the illegality of [Google's] strategy to remove its competitors. The court recognised the unfair and abusive character of the methods used."

Perhaps in a counter to this claim and similars, Google is set to begin charging the biggest users of its map service in "early 2012." This isn't really aimed at end users though but corporations. Businesses that use the service more than 25,000 times a day will have to pay in future. Presumably this would be courier firms and similar? But don't they just use satellite navigation? I'm confused.