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Google to face €295 million French lawsuit over alleged anti-competitive practices

Amar Toor, @amartoo
06.28.11
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Google's legal woes are piling up in a hurry. French search engine 1PlusV is suing El Goog over alleged anti-competitive practices, less than a week after the Federal Trade Commission opened a formal inquiry into similar accusations levied stateside. The suit, set to be filed in a Paris court this week, claims that Google uses its market dominance to bury rival search results while unfairly promoting those for its own services. According to 1PlusV, Google "black-listed" 30 of its vertical search engines between 2007 and 2010, making it difficult for the firm to compete. The company is also complaining about having to adopt Mountain View's technology in order to use AdSense and, in total, is seeking €295 million (about $418 million) in damages -- the largest damage claim Google has ever faced in Europe. 1PlusV operates the legal search group EJustice.fr and, along with Microsoft, helped spur an EU antitrust probe against Google last year. The company says its forthcoming lawsuit represents the "logical" next step in its ongoing antitrust crusade, while Google issued a brief statement, saying it "look[s] forward to explaining this."

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