The European Parliament has voted in favour of breaking up Google as a means of creating a more level playing field in the online search market.While the resolution isn’t binding, the message is loud and clear, with 384 votes in favour of the initiative to 174, with 56 abstentions, with MEPs calling on the European Commission “to consider proposals with the aim of unbundling search engines from other commercial services” in the long run.
The resolution underlines that “the online search market is of particular importance in ensuring competitive conditions within the digital single market”.
It calls on the Commission “to prevent any abuse in the marketing of interlinked services by operators of search engines”, stressing the importance of non-discriminatory online search.
Google currently holds around a 90 per cent share of the search engine market in Europe.
As reported by the BBC, the move would be without precedent, with the Commission never before ordering the break-up of any company, with many believing it is unlikely to do so now.
The Commission opened an antitrust investigation in 2010 into allegations Google “abused a dominant position in online search” in violation of European Union rules following complaints from search service providers about unfavourable treatment of their services.