Europe eyes breaking up Google

European lawmakers are preparing a call for Google to split its search engine services off from its other operations, such as maps or email, multiple outlets have reported.

The nonbinding resolution under discussion would be a drastic step to rein in the online giant, amid ongoing scrutiny on the continent.


While it would not break up the company itself, the measure would seem to put pressure on the European Commission — the EU’s executive body — to take action against Google.

One draft version obtained by Reuters on Friday would have the commission “consider proposals with the aim of unbundling search engines from other commercial services as one potential long-term solution.” 

A vote is expected on Thursday.

Google has been under increasing pressure in Europe, where concerns about privacy and antitrust violations run high. The company, by far the most popular search engine in Europe, has so far successfully fought off formal antitrust charges, but regulators have repeatedly worried that Google's search results are unfairly biased to help its own business.

European lawmakers indicated to outlets that the Parliament seemed likely to adopt the proposal.  

The head of the Computer and Communications Industry Association — a trade group that represents Google and other tech giants in Washington and Europe — called the measure “deeply troubling.”

“This motion, especially if passed by Parliament, threatens to undermine the credibility of a long running Commission investigation by blatantly interjecting politics into a legal process,” Ed Black said in a blog post over the weekend.