(CBS) - Google learned the hard way that free is not good for everyone. The search engine giant was fined by a French court because giving Google Maps away for free is anti-competitive.
The AFP reports Google was ordered to pay $660,000 in damages to Bottin Cartographes for providing free web mapping services. The French mapping company offers the same service for a fee and accused Google of undercutting competitors in order to gain control of the market. In addition to the damages, Google must pay a 15,000 euro fine.
"We proved the illegality of (Google's) strategy to remove its competitors," Jean-David Scemmama, a lawyer for Botting Cartographes told the AFP. "The court recognized the unfair and abusive character of the methods used."
Google France stated it will appeal the ruling.
"We will appeal this decision. 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," a Google France spokesman said.
Botting Cartographes provides custom mapping solutions for companies, like Louis Vuitton, Audi and Airbus.