The European Commission has cleared France's E99 million state aid for Quaero, the multimedia search index being built by a consortium of electronics and other companies. Former French president Jacques Chirac agreed to fund Thomson for the project back in 2005.
The EC said the project in fact “brings positive externalities for the community as a whole”. Quaero will build a service to search audio, images and video, including professional/academic search services and historical A/V. It will cost E199 million over five years.
“Quaero will ultimately enable Thomson to enhance its commercial range of internet protocol audiovisual content distribution platforms (IPTV, video on demand, etc.) and of digital multimedia content management systems. The clients targeted by Thomson are chiefly IP network operators, content distributors and film production studios,” said Thomson.
EC competition commissioner Neelie Kroes said: “The objective of the Quaero project is to improve key technologies for processing digital multimedia content. We are confident that the positive contribution the programme will make to European research will outweigh any distortion of competition caused by the aid.”