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Google Gets Fined, Waves German Flag

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Google’s not one to hold a grudge; today, Google.de features a logo celebrating Germany’s 1990 reunification.  But yesterday, a German court fined the search giant a little more than $14,000 for using the m.gmail.com domain for mobile search.

Google’s not going to go bankrupt due to this development.  The decision won’t even lessen the chances of Google’s stock hitting $2,000 per share (we’ll leave the discussion of those chances for another time).  Still, the search giant can’t be turning cartwheels over the fine.

It’s basically a case of adding financial insult to injury.  As our own David Utter reported several months ago, Google lost a court case involving the Gmail name, and this reduced it to using the term “Googlemail.”  It looked as if Google might actually pull out of Germany over the verdict.

We now know that didn’t happen, of course, but it seems that Google forgot (or “forgot”) to obey the ruling as it might apply to mobile search.  Hence the fresh $14,000 fine.  Yet, as today’s Google doodle proves, the company’s not taking the matter too hard.

Also, in a statement provided by Barry Schwartz, the company said, “We will pay the money to the German State as required by the Court of Appeal in Hamburg.  We now use ‘Googlemail’ across Germany and believe our users are very happy both with the name and the service.”

The German government may not be so happy with anything involving Google – the existence of the Theseus project supports this theory.  Still, for the time being, it looks as if everything’s quieting down.

Google Gets Fined, Waves German Flag
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