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EU: Quaero Can Receive $152 Million

French search to get serious state funding

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Over time, references to Quaero have become less and less frequent; it seemed that the French search project was more likely to fade from existence than challenge Google.  The European Commission has approved $152 million in state aid, however, so Mountain View might not want to forget about it.

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 Neelie Kroes

In a statement, Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said, "We are confident that the positive contribution the programme will make to European research will outweigh any distortion of competition caused by the aid."  Now there’s simply the matter of what that – and this entire development – means.

To address an issue some people are sure to think about: two weeks ago, the European Commission fined Microsoft $1.35 billion over antitrust issues, and many saw the amount as excessive.  On the other hand, the European Commission approved the Google-DoubleClick merger yesterday, so it’s not as if the entity has resolved to squash all American businesses.

And here’s one final bit of information: although we haven’t seen any more recent figures, Google’s market share in France approached 90 percent late last year.  This last fact tends to overwhelm the others; all in all, it only seems fair to let Quaero take its shot at search.

The project, as a whole, is supposed to last five years.  We’re hoping some product releases or public betas will occur along the way.

EU: Quaero Can Receive $152 Million
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