Google could be forced to split its search engine division from the rest of the company following a proposal to be put forward by the European Parliament.
The proposal, referring to the split as “unbundling”, is set to be introduced next week in an attempt to break Google’s monopoly of the search engine market.
Although it doesn’t refer to Google by name, the Mountain View-based firm holds a 90 per cent market share in Europe and is certainly the company to which the legislation is targeted.
The European Parliament, however, does not have the power to break apart companies. The proposal is designed to put pressure on the European Commission to act.
The Commission has previously spent four years looking into allegations of favouritism at Google, leading to the tech giant agreeing in February to display its rivals’ products and services equally with its own in search results.
It is unknown whether the “unbundling” is a foregone conclusion, as the European Commission has been quiet on the matter of Google’s superior market share.
“If the European Commission wanted to see the structural break up of Google, it would have done that,” David Balto, former policy director at the US Federal Commission, told Cnet. “It hasn’t for good reason.”
Critics of the way the Commission handles its dealings with Google have spoken out from across multiple industries, including European politicians, Microsoft, and French and German media companies.
The proposal has not yet been finalised and a vote is expected in the European Parliament on the issue on Thursday 27 November.