European Parliament to vote on proposals to curb Google

European Parliament to vote on proposals to curb Google
By Everton Gayle
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The European Parliament is preparing to vote on a non-binding resoluton that will propose breaking up Google’s search engines from the rest of its businesses.

Europe is growing increasingly frustrated with the company’s dominance of the internet. The proposed motion is said not to mention any specific company by name but will call on the Commission to try and level the competitive playing field with measures that will “unbundle search engines from other commercial services”.

Brussels feels the company is promoting its products in search results ahead of other products. Yelp, for example, has complained that when people search for a review by Yelp users they receive Google+ reviews.

The parliament does not have to power to break up corporations but any move would be an attempt to increase the pressure on the Commission. The legislature plans to put the proposals to the vote this week.

German Christian Democrat MEP Andreas Schwab has indicated the resolution would be adopted by his centre-right group, the largest in parliament, and that it had the backing of the centre-left group

Google has already been under fire in Europe over how it pays taxes and its privacy policy. In addition, recent stories around US surveillance, along with allegations that the US monitored Angela Merkel’s phone have left many deeply distrustful of companies that collect personal data.

The outgoing competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia recently warned Google that it was in danger of facing charges for rigging search results.
“Microsoft was investigated for 16 years, which is four times as much as the Google investigation has taken, and there are more problems with Google than there were with Microsoft,” he said.

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