Magazine article Information Management

EU vs. Google: The Saga Continues

Magazine article Information Management

EU vs. Google: The Saga Continues

Article excerpt

The European Union has been investigating Google for the past four years, due primarily to complaints from Microsoft, Expedia, European publishers, and others, Reuters reported. During this time, Google has been the center of attention regarding privacy issues, requests to scrub search results when requested, copyright concerns, and taxes.

The latest in the saga: In late-November EU lawmakers voted to encourage anti-trust regulators to consider proposals to unbundle search engines from other commercial services. And since Google has an estimated 90% market share in the search industry, the resolution is asking to break up Google. The resolution is a non-binding one, but it is a clear and strong signal of Europe's concern over the growing power of U.S. tech companies.

The lobbying group Computer & Communications Industry Association-whose members include Google, eBay, Facebook, Microsoft, and Samsung--opposes the resolution, calling it an "extreme and unworkable" solution.

"While clearly targeting Google, the parliament is in fact suggesting all search companies or online companies with a search facility, may need to be separated. This is of great concern as we try to create a digital single market," the group said in its official response.

The EU's new digital chief, Gunther Oettinger, a vocal critic of Google's market dominance, surprisingly did not support the resolution to break up Google. In his words, such a move would be the "instrument of a planned economy, not a market economy. …

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