European Parliament votes to split Google

27 Nov 2014's search page by antb/Shutterstock

A vote taken today, Thursday, at the European Parliament has returned in favour of splitting Google’s search operation from its commercial business.

The motion put forward to the European Parliament proposed creating a more level playing field for internet search – an area in which Google unmistakably dominates with 90pc of the market in Europe.

One remedy suggested for the long-running anti-trust saga is to split Google’s search business from its commercial services. Votes have been cast in Strasbourg, France, and the resolution passed with 384 MEPs in favour and 174 against.

While the opinion of the MEPs is clear, the vote is largely ceremonial as the European Parliament has no authority to exact the break-up of the US tech company. However, it is a clear indication of the European legislators’ attitude to Google.

The draft motion by Germany’s Andreas Schwab called for an “unbundling (of) search engines from other commercial services should be considered as a potential solution to Google’s dominance,” and was backed by the European Parliament’s two main political blocs, the European People’s Party and the Socialists.

In a separate move on Wednesday, the European Union’s data officials called for the ‘right to be forgotten’ from search engine results such as Google’s to be extended, while the European Commissioner for the Digital Economy Günther Oettinger is also considering an IP tax that has been labelled ‘anti-Google’.

Google image by antb/Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.