The European Parliament concluded a four year anti-trust probe into Google, voted that it should split itself up, but cannot force the company’s hand, Bloomberg reported. The vote was 384 to 174 that Google should unbundle its search engine from other commercial services, but the result for the actual company might be nothing more than a finger wagging.
Google has 90% market share in some European countries, and in addition to antitrust complaints, it has been investigated for privacy breaches and possible copyright problems. The EU’s antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, who took office on November 1, said that she will talk to businesses affected by Google and then decide where to go with the results of the probe.
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“European enterprises are losing revenue and people are getting fired, ” said Ramon Tremosa, a member of the EU Parliament from Catalonia Spain. “European consumers are not having the most pertinent choice, because of Google’s preferential treatment of its own services.”
The outcome of this vote against Google is likely to be minimal, but many U.S. business groups have been upset by the interference by the E.U. The U.S. based Computer and Communications Industry Association said the vote represented “an extreme and unworkable solution, ” and was “clearly designed to increase pressure on Commissioner Vestager.”