You really cannot make this stuff up, but the Europeans -- led by France and Germany -- are considering pumping billions of dollars of capital into a EU-funded search engine to challenge Google. Color me more than skeptical. Letter writer to the IHT Jim Warren pretty much sums up the cultural divide between the US and Europe.
Now, I understand that there is a compelling rationale not to get stuck with a single platform provider (indeed, this was the European rationale for creating and subsidizing Airbus, which after billions of Euros of taxpayer subsidies makes reasonably nice planes), but haven't the Eurocrats heard of Yahoo!? And, unlike aircraft manufacture, this doesn't seem to be a product with a high fixed investment entry barrier.