In a vote that was more symbolic than legal, the European Parliament passed a resolution towards break-up of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) thanks to having received a majority 384 votes as against 174 which were against, 56 members having abstained from participating in the process. Although it is just an expression of opinion which need not translate into reality, its implication is very clear – growing resentment in Europe against this tech giant.
Origin of this conflict between a united European front and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) took place four years ago on the basis of anti-trust policies and the core of the issue pertains to ‘right to be forgotten’. As per privacy regulations in Europe, this is request that Internet users can demand from search engines wherein all information pertaining to their visit will be immediately deleted. This rule has been made as applicable to Google as it is to European search engines but over a period of time it was discovered that although the data was being deleted from Google’s local versions, it was still showing up on Google.com.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) once again came under the EU’s scanner for purportedly squeezing out competition and yet another straw was drawn when in 2013, Edward J. Snowden, a former NSA dealer, revealed that American Intelligence was running a widespread spying ring in Europe. Therefore, even though it wasn’t specifically mentioned, Google was definitely at the forefront in the minds of EU members when they assembled to cast their vote. An attempt to explain was made by Marc Tarabella, a socialist from Belgium, as follows –
“We wanted to give a strong signal to the European Commission but also to US companies like Google and to citizens.”
Subsequent to this vote, ripples of unrest travelled across several sections and it was the American segment which appeared to be the most infuriated. While being interviewed by CNBC, John Newbold termed the decision as harsh. This individual who is one of the founders of 383 and now serves as its creative director felt that the tech giant was being wrongly persecuted.
How Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) tackles this problem is something that remains to be seen.
This article has been written by Vinita Basu.