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EU: Tech law may take down Google if antitrust can’t

 |  November 19, 2014

As Google continues to fight against possible sanctions from the European Commission’s competition arm, reports say lawmakers are calling on technology rules to take on Google if antitrust law doesn’t do the trick.

Some members of the European Parliament released a statement that if antitrust laws cannot sufficiently reign in Google’s dominance, “regulation of the dominant online Web search should be envisaged,” and the EU should draft legislation to do so.

Andreas Schwab, a German member of Parliament, told reporters Wednesday that the Google search engine is a “critical infrastructure” that should offer a level playing field to all businesses, according to reports. But Schwab added that he would prefer the European Commission to resolve dominance issues with its ongoing probe into the way Google displays its search results.

Schwab, along with Spain’s Ramon Tremosa, are urging the Commission’s antitrust arm to order Google to display rival search results through a “rotation mechanism,” allowing searchers greater choice.

But if the Commission cannot do so, lawmakers must take action, they said. And if the European Union does not consider draft legislation, European Commissioner Andrus Ansip, who oversees technology and digital issues, should consider another investigation into Google to promote a level playing field for companies.

Calls for new legislation to curb Google’s dominance come soon after competition chief Margrethe Vestager said that she would focus solely on competition matters in the ongoing Google case, and that it is not her jurisdiction to investigate other matters, like that of privacy, that concern Google rivals and consumer advocates.

Full content: Bloomberg

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