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EU: MEPs aim to tear Google apart

 |  November 23, 2014

Google’s antitrust saga in Europe could reach a new, dramatic climax next week as Parliament reportedly readies to propose a breakup of the company.

The Financial Times reportedly obtained a copy of a draft motion to separate Google’s search operations from the rest of its businesses, calling for the “unbundling [of] search engines from other commercial services” to reign in the company’s dominance.

It would be a drastic measure to solve a years-long investigation into Google’s search practices as companies accuse Google of abusing its market dominance by, among other allegations, displaying its own services in search results ahead of rivals’. The case, taken up by former European Commission competition chief Joaquin Almunia, gained significant controversy earlier this year when Almunia seemed poised to accept Google’s third round of concessions to settle the deal as consumer advocates and competitors decried the deal as insufficient.

Now, new competition chief Margrethe Vestager has inherited the case.

She has also inherited the complexities of the investigation, which has seen EU member states including Germany and France calling for a Google breakup and EU lawmakers debating about how the case should end.

Since taking her position, Vestager has said she would like to receive more input from interested parties in the case and would not rush towards a resolution.

Now, reports say Parliament is set to approve of the draft motion to vote on whether Google should break off its search operations from the rest of the company. Parliament, however, does not have the authority to force such a breakup, and reports note that calls for such action would face stiff opposition from many sides of the debate.

Full content: The Guardian

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