Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) may be getting too big for its britches as the firm has been under pressure from European regulators regarding anti-trust concerns for several years now. The EU regulators claim the firm’s search engine results are biased to maximize its own business interests.
Members of the European Parliament can ratchet up the pressure on Google another notch on Thursday when they vote on a non-binding proposal that calls for the Internet giant to split off its search engine services from its other operations.
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The measure is currently scheduled for a vote this Thursday, and a number of European lawmakers have indicated to media sources that the proposal likely has the votes needed to pass.
Details on EU proposal for Google to separate its search engine division
Although the European Parliament proposal does not explicitly break up the company, the mere consideration of the issue at the legislative level seems likely to increase the pressure on the European Commission to take some kind of action against the tech giant.
A draft version of the parliamentary proposal reviewed by Reuters (not necessarily the final measure) called for the European Commission to “consider proposals with the aim of unbundling search engines from other commercial services as one potential long-term solution.”
Although EU regulators have investigated Google on a number of occasions, the firm has manged to avoid formal anti-trust charges to date.
Statement from industry association
The president of the Computer and Communications Industry Association (a trade group representing the tech industry) commented on the Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) brouhaha over the weekend, and called the proposed European Parliament measure “deeply troubling.”
“This motion, especially if passed by Parliament, threatens to undermine the credibility of a long running Commission investigation by blatantly interjecting politics into a legal process,” Ed Black said in a strongly critical blog he posted on Saturday.