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EU: Lawmakers rush to downplay Google breakup plans

 |  November 25, 2014

The technology industry was shaken up last week as reports emerged that Members of the European Parliament are preparing a vote – perhaps this week – on whether to call for a breakup of Google to reign in its market dominance. But since the news first broke, the authors of the draft proposal are downplaying calls for such drastic measures.

According to reports, lawmakers spoke out Monday to emphasize that their proposal will merely suggest a Google breakup among one of several options.

Germany’s Andreas Schwab and Spain’s Ramon Tremosa issued a joint statement this week stating: “Tremosa and Schqab are not ideological against Google! We are against monopolies.”

Parliament is said to be gearing up to vote on the draft resolution that calls for the unbundling of Google’s search services from the rest of its businesses. But lawmakers are urging calm amid the outcry since those proposals were first made public.

The European Commission’s commissioner in charge of digital markets also urged calm amid the breakup reports.

The Commission’s Vice President Andrus Ansip told reporters Monday that investigations into Google must not be hasty. When commenting on the matter, Ansip declined to single out Google directly, but stated that some technology companies in general may be abusing their market powers.

”We have some doubts about misuse of gatekeeper positions and also leading positions in the market,” he said. “I’m not ready to say that they [the technology companies] will have to be broken up, talking about vertically integrated structures. We have to investigate very carefully where these problems are … and then find possible solutions.”

Ansip added that those solutions will only be implemented after a public debate on the matter.

Full content: Reuters

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