Google Inc (GOOGL) Split-up Not the Issue But Monopoly: EU Top Official

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s opponents in the EU denied suggestions that the search engine is under threat of being split up, saying that while unbundling of the tech company is one of the suggestions that have been submitted in a draft, it is just one of several suggestions made. In an interview with Reuters, European Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip expressed concerns that leading companies in the digital market are committing abuses in a way that leverage their dominance and gatekeeper positions. Ansip said that a thorough investigation should be made with the ultimate goal of reaching possible solutions. He further reiterated the parliament’s concerns over the hurdles  faced by family, small, and medium sized businesses when it comes to visibility because of vertically integrated structures.

Google (GOOG)The parliament is set to vote this coming  November 27 on a draft that suggests, among other things,  “unbundling search engines from other commercial services”. Although the draft did not specifically mention Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), the search giant is bound to be affected the most as it enjoys a whopping 90% share of the European search market. Apart from this draft resolution, the EU has a current antitrust case against Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), with investigations now running about four years on end. Early in May this year, the European Union Court of Justice issued the controversial ruling on “the right to be forgotten”, ordering search engines to remove links to posts of any EU citizen who desire such link removal on the basis of inadequacy or irrelevance. The court based its ruling on a 1995 directive of the European Parliament covering personal data protection. Some observers, however, feel that it would be difficult to curb Google, with the company’s rivals even criticizing the parliament on grounds that any concession that may be reached up with Google won’t solve competition woes.

Furthermore, a vote from the parliament  in favor of the draft is not seen as definitive at all. The final decision on the matter will come from a higher government authority, the European Commission. A statement from the two most notable European lawmakers behind the draft, Germany’s Andreas Schwab and Spain’s Tremosa, noted that the resolution does not oppose Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) but that it opposes monopolies.

This article has been written by Nonito Guntan.

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