November 26, 2014
The U.S. is none to happy about the European Parliament pushing to have Google’s search engine operations separated from the rest of the company.
In fact, Washington politicians have penned letters to their EU counterparts discouraging the motion being drafted by the European Parliament. The EU is suggesting splitting Google’s search engine operations in Europe from the rest of the company to end its “monopoly” of the market.
Several members of Congress, in a letter to EU politicians, said if parliament’s motion were to be adopted by the European Commission, it would deter “continued innovation and investment” from American Internet companies.
Below is an excerpt from the letter signed by 12 members of Congress:
A joint letter from the Republican and Democrat leadership of the Senate finance committee and House ways and means committee, meanwhile, said the Parliament’s motion appears to “target U.S. technology companies” and brings into question “the EU’s commitment to open markets.”
Although the draft motion seen by Reuters does not specifically mention Google or any other search engine, it stands to reason the document is aimed at the American company, which currently enjoys an estimated 90 percent of the search market in Europe.
Newly-appointed European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said earlier this month that she is mulling over how to handle the issue. Vestager, who took over from Joaquin Almunia at the beginning of the month, said she planned to examine the opinions of parties involved in the case and check on the latest developments in the sector before taking any action.
She added that the investigation would only be about competition issues despite pressure from critics that it should be expanded to include data privacy and media pluralism.
If European Union regulators are not satisfied with Google’s next round of concessions, the company could be slapped with a $5-billion fine.
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.