Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), which has recently been under fire from the European Parliament, has found in ally in the U.S. Mission to the European Union. In an email to Reuters from its headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, the Mission aired its concern over European regulators’ call for splitting search engines from other internet based services. The mission further raised the importance of arriving at solutions that are based on impartial findings and not influenced by politics. It should be remembered that MEP Andreas Schwab of Germany and MEP Ramon Tremosa of Spain have proposed in a draft to be voted upon this coming Thursday the unbundling of “search engines from other commercial services”.
Such proposal is based on the popular complaint against Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), alleging that results shown by the company to users are geared towards promoting its own businesses, thus foregoing competition. Apart from the imminent threat of unbundling. Google has also been dealing with antitrust issues in Europe for 4 years now. Among other things, the search giant is investigated for the manner it displays search results, its dominance in online advertising, and its scraping of content from across the web to display in its own search results.
Guenther Oettinger, the European Commissioner for digital affairs, has expressed through a spokeswoman of his opposition to suggestions of splitting up Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), noting that existing EU laws are sufficient to guarantee an environment of fair competition. Reuters reports that Oettinger was cited by German business journalist Roland Tichy as saying that break-up and expropriation are incompatible under a system of free market economy.
Observers of the case noted the political air that permeates the European parliaments attack at Google. For instance, University of Belgium law professor Nicolas Petit was quoted by Bloomberg as saying that the parliament’s move to influence investigations is “antitrust populism”. Petit averred that such moves will not prosper because the parliament itself has no vested authority on the matter and is only being consulted on affairs of EU law.
Another observation of politics regarding the matter can be had from a commentary in Forbes, where it is argued that the current move against Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) can be traced to the German press’ distaste for Google News’ use of snippets and headlines to link to articles. The German press, according to the commentary, argued that Google is stealing their copyright. The search giant reacted by removing German media from its index, which also resulted in the decline of traffic to the sites that were previously included in search results.
This article has been written by Nonito Guntan.