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European Parliament Votes to Break Up Google

News by Luke Jones on Friday November 28, 2014.

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The European Commission really does not like Google. The EU has been at loggerheads with the search giant for several years and continues to go after the company. It seems the European Parliament thinks that most things Google stands for are very bad and they are doing their best to end what they think are monopolizing practices according to Reuters.

There are certainly two sides of the fence here, some who think Google is offering a free product so it is really the consumer's choice, while others will argue that like Microsoft in the 1990s, Google is stifling the smaller players in the industry and dominating the markets by nefarious means. I think most agree that either way, Google curates out private data, which is kind of stinky.

The European Parliament held a vote on Thursday to decide whether to break up Google, and the motion was "overwhelmingly backed" with 384 for and 174 against. Interesting, but what exactly does the vote actually mean for Google.

The EU wants to smash Google's hold on the search industry, while the Commission also wants to halt Google's tax dodging practices (something other companies are also falling foul of). Google is more dominant in Europe than in any other region in terms of search, with a 90% market share. Competitors have asked the EU to investigate the way Google advertises and markets its search engine, while also looking into how it deals with rivals. The penalties could be big, with Google already facing a $5 billion fine for favouring its own products in search results (heaven forbid a company advertising its products as priority).

"Monopolies in whatever market have never been useful, neither for consumers nor for the companies," German conservative lawmaker and co-sponsor of the new bill Andreas Schwab said.

It is unclear how breaking up Google would actually work in the EU, as Google is obviously a US based company. The company could be split on a region basis, but it is still unclear if the EU has the power to actually break up the organization. Some politicians in the Parliament clearly agree:

"Parliament should not be engaging in anti-Google resolutions, inspired by a heavy lobby of Google competitors or by anti-free market ideology, but ensure fair competition and consumer choice," Parliament's ALDE liberal group lawmaker Sophie in't Veld said.

Google has yet to officially respond to the vote, but the Computer & Communications Industry Association lobbying group said that dividing of the company is "extreme and unworkable". The Association is made up of heavyweights such as Microsoft, Facebook, and Samsung.

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About the author

Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at degree level before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news, as well as overseeing the site's content and direction.

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