Google to be ‘Broken Up’ in Europe in Bid to End Search Monopoly

The European parliament is reportedly going to call for Google to be broken up into separate companies in a vote next week, in a bid to combat the online firm’s dominance.

Google has long found itself tied up in European investigations. Currently, the firm is involved in an antitrust investigation into its Android operating system, along with the ongoing case regarding its dominance in the search engine market, which was originally set to close in the summer of this year.

Europe could take drastic measures in a bid to put an end to this ongoing case, with a leak suggesting that a motion to break up the company could be on the agenda.

A draft motion seen by The Financial Timeswhich reportedly has support from Europe’s two largest political partiessays that an “unbundling [of] search engines from other commercial services” should be considered as a potential solution to Google’s dominance.

It also calls for an end to Google’s “illegal and discriminatory treatment” and calls “to restore competition in the online marketplace.”

However, the report notes that the European parliament has no authority to force the break up of a company like Google, but that it does have the ability to influence the European Commission, who decides on new legislation.

One of the motion’s supporters, a Spanish MEP, told the website that such it is necessary to consider such a move as a long-term solution because the commission could not “ask the secret of [Google’s] algorithm.”

European commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager has said she will listen to Google and its various critics before deciding how to go forward with an antitrust inquiry.

“The issues at stake in our investigations have a big potential impact on many players; they are multifaceted and complex. I will therefore need some time to decide on the next steps,” she said at a hearing in Brussels.

Google declined to comment on the report, but The Financial Times has heard that executives at the company are “furious” at the motion.

A vote on the motion is expected to take place in European Parliament next Thursday.

This article was originally published on the Inquirer.

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