Google Maps Sued for Being Free
Thursday 2 February 2012A French court has ruled that Google should pay a 500,000 euro fine because by making Google Maps free they are abusing their dominant position.
The action was brought by Bottin Cartographes, a French mapping company which charges customers such as Louis Vuitton and Airbus to use their maps. From looking at Bottin Carto's website I would be surprised if their maps were seen as a competitor to Google's.
I am rather staggered by this ruling and wonder where it leaves other companies that wish to provide their superior products for free. Surely this does not mean that a small software house could take larger open source software companies to court just because they wish to offer some of their products for free.