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The European Commission wants to break Google up

It seems that the whole of Europe have developed a bad case of “tall poppy syndrome” (TPS) against Google, the massive American corporation that has not only dominated search, but also has a hand in anything remotely to do with the internet.

While we may see Google as leading the way for technological advancements, not to mention opening up new doors for brands to communicate with consumers, the European Commission has a bone to pick with the digital giant.

This week, the European Commission passed a set of rules designed to stop Google from being able to take advantage of its prominent position, with members voting 384 to 174 for the proposal.

Essentially, they are trying to stop Google from having its fingers in so many pots by breaking them up – with the plans designed “to consider proposals with the aim of unbundling search engines from other commercial services’ in the long run.”

This ruling doesn’t give regulators the right to break up Google (in Europe), but simply to ask Google more questions and to continue investigating the company. However, if they find that Google is abusing its position, it could have the power to force Google to make some changes.

Since Google has become so powerful, the European Commission already has an ongoing antitrust investigation of the company to make sure competitors still have a chance to compete.

The investigation was carried out by the competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia, who was unable to come to any conclusion, and now has been replaced by Margrethe Vestager.

The US Government recently made a statement to the European Commission, saying “It is important that the process of identifying competitive harms and potential remedies be based on objective and impartial findings and not be politicized.”, Reuters reported.

It also came out this week that one of the members of the European Commission representing Germany, Andreas Schwab, also holds a position at the same law firm that represented German publishers trying to sue Google for lost profits, according to The New York Times.

Whether Google will ever be able to appease the European Union remains unclear, but in time we could see Google’s business model in Europe significantly altered.

Posted by Dylan Brown