French Company To File Anti-competitive Suit Against Google
An Internet company in France says it will seek heavy damages from Google in what it says is the largest claim of its kind in Europe against the American giant.
The action, which the company, 1plusV, says it will bring on Tuesday at the Commercial Court of Paris, will raise issues about whether Google has unfairly shut out competitors. 1plusV says it will claim 295 million euros, or $421 million, in damages, based on income it believes it lost because of Google’s actions.
Al Verney, a spokesman for Google in Europe, confirmed Tuesday that the company had received the complaint.‘‘We have only just received the complaint so we can’t comment in detail yet,’’ Mr. Verney said.
Google is facing similar questions in a formal investigation by the European Commission that began last year and in another investigation confirmed last week by the Federal Trade Commission in Washington.
1plusV operates a family of search engines aimed at offering mainly French-speaking Web users targeted results in areas like law and music.Bruno Guillard, the founder of 1plusV, said that Google made some of his sites impossible to find through its search engine, thus taking away the ability of those sites to generate advertising revenue.
Google’s share of the search market in parts of Europe is as much as 90 percent. In legal documents submitted last year in the case brought by the European Commission, Google said that one of the sites operated by 1plusV was little more than a collection of links to other sites of little use to Web users.