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UK: Streetmap Loses "Anticompetitive" Case Against Google

     
1:41 pm on Feb 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Those of you in the UK will probably be familiar with Streetmap. It was one of the first online mapping companies, and became well used.

Although Streetmap has lost the case, it plans to appeal the ruling, citing non-compliance with Google's legal obligations, and the fact it's unfair on small business.

UK internet mapping company to appeal after High Court rejects lawsuit claiming Google’s conduct led to ‘dramatic loss of traffic’ UK: Streetmap Loses "Anticompetitive" Case Against Google [theguardian.com]
Mr Justice Roth ruled Google’s introduction of the new-style Maps OneBox in 2007 was “not reasonably likely appreciably to affect competition in the market for online maps” and that Google’s conduct was “objectively justified”.
6:00 pm on Feb 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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THE REGISTER's story about this case includes the paragraph:

"Judge Peter Roth agreed with Google that while it held a dominant position, 'it did not commit an abuse' of it. He also refused StreetMap permission to appeal against his judgment."

So can Streetmap appeal or not?
1:13 am on Feb 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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So can Streetmap appeal or not? not normally - unless the lawyers find a way out of it = EU Commission

Actual we used to deal with these guys some years back their only competitor was Multimap. Both used Ordnance Survey maps but Multimap got taken over by Microsoft ( Bing maps ) Streetmap was left adrift a bit ( probably because Multimap had a Store Locator API and revenue ) and they are probably right , being elbowed out by Google however that's business. In fact Streetmap product is , IMO, better but they just got left behind.

Sad to say a good UK product decimated by the might of the USA where it's easier to scale up.
<added> We ended up using Multimap although the API was basic by todays standards. We bailed out when they asked us to sign an agreement that left us exposed cost wise.</added>
2:56 am on Feb 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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While no comment on the case involved, I can say that "map" sites have a difficult time regardless of size if they don't have access to true GPS (and that runs into Big Bucks). Cartography is of interest to anyone/everyone and there are so many players. And some can do it better than others....
5:25 pm on Feb 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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For a map I have abandoned both Google and Bing and go straight to Streetmap but go back to G for Streetview or Bing for the best aerial views.
4:01 pm on Feb 14, 2016 (gmt 0)

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nobody has a divine right to just continue doing well. The briefest of glances at my post history would tell you I am NO fan of google, but "first to the waterhole" should never be a reason for continued success.

Being based on the OS maps, streetmap serves a purpose, has its niche. But it's about as user-friendly as a blunt force blow to the nether regions. The world moves on unfortunately. Jump on, adapt or die.
6:02 pm on Feb 14, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Not sure I understand how a search engine with a market share of well over 90% shoving a #*$! great map at the top of its results pages could be described as

"not reasonably likely appreciably to affect competition in the market for online maps"

What a bizarre statement.
4:11 pm on Feb 15, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Another case of the inferior product whining they can't compete.

Customers either like it or they don't, has nothing to do with Google.

Not a mapping company, but take Bing as an example, they're hardly a small company and MS has a dominant position in consumer hardware yet people prefer Google. Other examples would be Ask, Inktomi/Yahoo, etc. and some of those once upon a time had the lead and lost it. Boo and hoo.

FWIW, back to maps, Google used to have my favorite navigation software and then they screwed up the UI and we switched to Scout. Then Scout started messing up and it lost 2 customers back to Google, which in the interim fixed the issues we had before and now it's seamless and it ROCKS! I still find some things were easier to do in Scout, but the basic function of Navigation, Google just kicks their ass, which is why I assume this little company failed as well. I gave Scout a chance for years and they blew it. Happens. Move along.
5:45 am on Feb 16, 2016 (gmt 0)

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More recent commentary. Looks like G has killed future competitive litigation by this win:

Google High Court win will have 'chilling effect’ on UK digital biz
The verdict in the Streetmap.eu v Google Inc competition case set a new hurdle for proving that a dominant player had caused harm – one that’s now far higher than it is in the rest of the EU.

What happened on Friday, the defence team argues, is that Mr Justice Roth set a new hurdle for victims of competitive abuse.

"This is the first case where you have to show the harm is ‘appreciable' rather than just an effect. It’s new law,” says Tim Cowen, a barrister at Prieskel & Co, the law firm that argued Streetmap's case.


These kinds of cases are expensive to litigate, but this ruling makes it even more so.

Yet when it came to his verdict, issued on Friday, Mr Justice Roth concluded that Google’s mapping OneBox was "pro-competitive”. How did he arrive at this conclusion?

Roth didn’t dispute Google’s dominance, or that there had been some harm to the competitor. He simply didn’t find the harm “appreciable”, which he acknowledged introduces a new legal standard into UK law.


And in that small seed is the future death of a great many small businesses, particularly in the UK.
9:33 am on Feb 16, 2016 (gmt 0)

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victims of competitive abuse
Ahhh, now I see how we ended up with all these "participation awards" instead of winners...
2:51 am on Feb 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Customers either like it or they don't, has nothing to do with Google.


I'm not sure that's entirely correct.

IE was - for years - not only a bad browser but demonstrably the worst browser. Really, genuinely bad. Other browsers like Firefox and Opera had tabs years before IE did. Tabs!

Yet IE had dominant market share. How? Because it was the best browser?

No, because everyone except Mac and Linux users had MS Windows... which had IE running out of the box.

In this instance, my own opinion is that Google did (and does) have the best mapping software.

But one reason why so many web-users like it has everything to do with Google.