U.K. Court Takes Google’s Side in Mapping Beef

Although it still faces numerous antitrust investigations in Europe, Google scored a victory there Friday when a U.K. High Court ruled in the company?EU?s favor regarding one anti-competition complaint. In 2013, British mapping company Streetmap accused Google of abusing its dominant position to promote its own mapping service within search results. Streetmap said that action negatively affected traffic to its own service.

Google introduced its Google Maps service in the U.K. in 2007. Leicestershire-based Streetmap, one of the first companies in the online mapping space, launched ten years earlier, in 1997. It provides detailed street maps of Great Britain, enabling users to search by postcodes, place names, London street names, and grid references.

While Streetmap was a pioneering provider of online mapping resources, it lacked Google's resources. The company ultimately decided to fight Google because the search giant placed its Maps service so prominently in front of search engine users. Streetmap also had to fight the fact that Google could refine and improve its mapping offering more often than Streetmap.

Objectively Justified

Because Google placed a clickable Google Maps image at the top of its search results page, Streetmap was pushed to a link lower on the page. The upshot: Streetmap claimed anticompetitive behavior, accusing Google was promoting its own maps more favorably than those of its rivals. Streetmap?EU?s attorneys said the company's business has been crippled by the presence of Google Maps in the U.K.

But the justice in the case has now dismissed Streetmap?EU?s argument, saying that the inclusion of the Google Maps box at the top of its search results was not reasonably likely to have a significant effect on competition in the online maps market. The justice added that Google?EU?s conduct was "objectively justified."

Streetmap said it intends to appeal the High Court ruling. The company said that the court?EU?s...

Comments are closed.

U.K. Court Takes Google’s Side in Mapping Beef

Although it still faces numerous antitrust investigations in Europe, Google scored a victory there Friday when a U.K. High Court ruled in the company?EU?s favor regarding one anti-competition complaint. In 2013, British mapping company Streetmap accused Google of abusing its dominant position to promote its own mapping service within search results. Streetmap said that action negatively affected traffic to its own service.

Google introduced its Google Maps service in the U.K. in 2007. Leicestershire-based Streetmap, one of the first companies in the online mapping space, launched ten years earlier, in 1997. It provides detailed street maps of Great Britain, enabling users to search by postcodes, place names, London street names, and grid references.

While Streetmap was a pioneering provider of online mapping resources, it lacked Google's resources. The company ultimately decided to fight Google because the search giant placed its Maps service so prominently in front of search engine users. Streetmap also had to fight the fact that Google could refine and improve its mapping offering more often than Streetmap.

Objectively Justified

Because Google placed a clickable Google Maps image at the top of its search results page, Streetmap was pushed to a link lower on the page. The upshot: Streetmap claimed anticompetitive behavior, accusing Google was promoting its own maps more favorably than those of its rivals. Streetmap?EU?s attorneys said the company's business has been crippled by the presence of Google Maps in the U.K.

But the justice in the case has now dismissed Streetmap?EU?s argument, saying that the inclusion of the Google Maps box at the top of its search results was not reasonably likely to have a significant effect on competition in the online maps market. The justice added that Google?EU?s conduct was "objectively justified."

Streetmap said it intends to appeal the High Court ruling. The company said that the court?EU?s...

Comments are closed.