EU taxpayers to fund $306m Google rival. No wonder the Yanks think we're dumb

The EU Commission is up to its usual tricks. Twenty-three European private firms led by electronics firm Thomson are about to get EUR99m ($152m) from the French government to develop a European rival to Google. The European Commission approved the funding because it thinks the research and cultural benefits of the Quaero project will offset the fact that they just handed a ton of cash to Thomson to give it a head start.

There’s more. Last July, the EC cleared a decision by the German government to give EUR120m (USD165m) to the German segment of the Quaero project, named Theseus. Like Quaero, Theseus was conceived in 2005 and is led by firms including Siemens and Deutsche Thomson.

But get this. The investment for Quaero only covers half of the estimated costs of EUR199m (USD306m) over the five first years. And they don’t even own the domain name.

So who does?

A North Carolina-based marketing technology company Quaero, which should just sell up now or threaten the EU with turning Quaero into a porn site or something. Or perhaps a snarky blog about dumb EU Commission investments.