A country in which Google's search engine enjoys a market share of around 90 percent is soon going to see even more of the company. Google's announced that it will build a research center and help create some sort of cultural institute in France.
Given that Google has encountered resistance to its book-scanning program in France, we should note that the country's authorities support these plans. In fact, Eric Schmidt actually met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who approved.
Unfortunately, not much more information is available regarding the research center; Google hasn't hinted how many people will work there or what they'll focus on. No completion dates or dollar (or euro) figures were mentioned, either.
With regards to the institute, though, Google said according to the AFP, "The culture centre will be a hub for technology that promotes the past, present, and future of pan-European culture," and will support the "acceleration of the digitalisation of books, documents, magazines, etcetera."
Schmidt also explained, "Why now? And why in France? Because the French adopted the Internet so quickly, the ad market is one of the most sophisticated, and the French love Google more and more."
We'll be sure to report any additional details as they become available.