US lawmakers protest European plan to break up Google

More than a dozen members of Congress are outraged at a plan in Europe that threatens to split up Google.
 
Key lawmakers sent multiple letters Tuesday to members of the European Parliament expressing “great concern” at the nonbinding plan to force Google to break off its search engine services from the rest of the company.
 
If the European Union followed through on it, the proposal “would stem cross-border data flows at the expense of millions of people across Europe who enjoy the use of these online services every day,” a dozen lawmakers wrote in one letter, noting that U.S. companies have invested about $2.1 trillion in Europe.
 
“We support healthy competition and a fair playing field for Internet companies in the U.S. and around the globe and we believe these goals can be accomplished through the traditional regulatory process,” wrote Reps. Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaHow lawmakers aided the Afghan evacuation Dozens of Sacramento students remain in Afghanistan after US pullout, district says Seven San Diego-area families evacuated from Afghanistan after summer trip abroad MORE (R-Calif.), Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzCongress's latest hacking investigation should model its most recent Fox News Audio expands stable of podcasts by adding five new shows The myth of the conservative bestseller MORE (R-Utah), Anna EshooAnna Georges EshooTime for Congress to make a down payment to prevent future pandemic tragedies Hillicon Valley: US has made progress on cyber but more needed, report says | Democrat urges changes for 'problematic' crypto language in infrastructure bill | Facebook may be forced to unwind Giphy acquisition Eshoo urges Pelosi to amend infrastructure bill's 'problematic' crypto regulation language MORE (D-Calif.) and Zoe LofgrenZoe Ellen LofgrenRepublicans keep distance from 'Justice for J6' rally Spotlight turns to GOP's McCarthy in Jan. 6 probe Now is the time for bankruptcy venue reform MORE (D-Calif.) and either other lawmakers.

In a separate letter, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) told Europeans that the policy seemed ‘to be motivated by politics, rather than grounded in factual and legal principles.”

“We believe that antitrust enforcement should be applied independent of politics and firmly rooted in our shared and international principles,” he added.
 
The lawmakers are protesting a plan to break up the company that is heading to the European Parliament this week. Though the proposal is nonbinding, it would certainly increase pressure on European regulators and heighten tensions that are already running high in the wake of revelations about U.S. surveillance and friction over U.S. and EU treatment of privacy.
 
Google has come under increasing scrutiny from European regulators who are concerned that it may violate antitrust laws by unfairly promoting its own services in search results over those of other companies. So far, the search engine giant has avoided any formal charges.
 
The tech industry has already expressed concerns about the pending European proposal. One top trade group operating in both the U.S. and Europe has warned that the measure seemed blatantly political.
 
The European Parliament is expected to vote on the plan on Thursday.
This story was updated at 5:06 p.m.