European Union lawmakers seeking to combat what they consider anti-competitive behavior by Google Inc. are weighing a call to split up companies that focus on Web search, according to a document prepared by members of the European Parliament.
One draft asks regulators to tackle what it says are abusive practices by the Internet search provider. The European Commission should “consider proposals with the aim of unbundling search engines from other commercial services” to aid Europe’s digital industry, according to another version of a draft resolution prepared by members of the European People’s Party, which didn’t specifically mention Google.
Google, which has more than 90% of the search market in many European countries, is facing threats to its business, including a possible Internet copyright levy, that add to a lengthy EU antitrust investigation into allegations that it discriminates against rivals.
“The possibility of this happening is slim to none at this point; we will have to see what they are proposing,” said Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research Group. “Many Europeans are disappointed that a European champion hasn’t emerged in any way to upend Google and to offer any meaningful challenge.”
Lawmakers from the European People’s Party and liberal groups plan to ask the entire assembly to vote Wednesday on the resolution. The final draft of their text must still be negotiated. While the version citing Google doesn’t specifically ask for Google to be broken up, it does ask regulators to “act decisively on all concerns” given Google’s high market share.
Spokesmen for Google and the European Commission declined to comment.