Google Breakup Pondered in Europe

Should Google be forced to separate its search engine division from its other commercial services? Members of the European Parliament think so. That measure was one of the actions the European Commission might take in an effort to resolve Google's antitrust problems in Europe, according to members of Parliament who are proposing the split.

A draft version of a European Parliament resolution recommended late last week that the commission break up Google. The commission maintains that's one way to solve competition problems it sees with the search engine provider, which is the biggest in Europe.

Vote Coming

The resolution was drafted by German Parliament member Andreas Schwab and Ramon Tremosa of Spain, a member of the Parliament's Liberal group.

In the draft, they asked the Commission "to consider proposals with the aim of unbundling search engines from other commercial services as one potential long-term solution" to deal with competition issues in the search engine market. The Google situation is among several European tech issues addressed in the resolution.

The Parliament plans to discuss the resolution on Wednesday and vote on it on Thursday. If it's adopted, it would be non-binding, but would force a response from the Commission.

Google owns about 90 percent of the EU's search market, and the company has been under antitrust scrutiny since the company's competitors filed complaints with the European Commission four years ago. The competitors claimed that Google favored its own services in search results and decreased the visibility of results from competing sites.

Tremosa and Schwab said in a joint news release that they were against monopolies, not necessarily Google.

"We want fair and neutral search in the interest of consumers. Unbundling is one of the ideas but we proposed several ideas of solutions that are on the table," they said.

Other Option

One other option would be a rotation mechanism...

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