After a four-year official investigation on Google, the EU Parliament plans to force the internet giant to separate its search engine operations from its moneymaking businesses in Europe by adopting a non-binding resolution next week. EU chose to break up Google’s operations in Europe after a series of complaints coming from its competitors who said Google was “squeezing them out” in the web search results.
Andreas Schwab, a German politician, and Ramon Tremosa, a Spanish representative, were the ones who came up with the idea of the resolution. They said they felt they had to do something to stop Google from suppressing fair competition and thus harming millions of consumers and businesses. In Europe, Google is estimated to hold an approximate 90 % share of the market, which makes competition almost impossible.
The two politicians also criticized Google’s ability to drive Internet traffic to the sites it promotes its products. One of the solutions the two brought forth was breaking up the search engine’s ranking algorithm and rotating results.
“Search engines like Google should not be allowed to use their market power to push forward other commercial activities of the same company”,
Jan Philipp Albrecht, a German MEP, said.
If Google doesn’t accept the propositions, the EU threatens to use the law force on it. But, since EU parliament doesn’t have the authority to break up a corporation, all the pressure will go on the European Commission to take the legal steps.
European Commission’s spokesmen refused to comment.
Early this year Google was forced by the EU Court of Justice to respects its users “right to be forgotten” upon request. Google was brought to trial by a Spanish man who wasn’t allowed to delete from the internet confidential data about his house affecting his privacy. The European court said Google users had the right to request personal information to be removed inadequate or irrelevant.
In US, on the other hand, Google had last year a notable victory when an investigation concluded that the company hadn’t modified Internet search and harmed its competition. US did force Google to stop reusing reviews from its competition’s sites for the benefit of its products.
Germany’s involvement into stopping Google’s supremacy in Europe could be also related to US surveillance practices. Early this year everyone found out that NSA was spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel mobile phone. This led to a huge diplomatic scandal, and European people got extremely suspicious of super-powerful organizations controlling their personal data.