The European Parliament is said to be preparing a proposal that would call for Google to split its search engine division from the rest of its business in Europe in an effort to curb the company’s dominance over the search engine market in the region.
The proposal specifically refers to a potential split as “unbundling.”
The brazen legislation, expected to be introduced next week, doesn’t specifically mention Google by name. But considering the Mountain View-based company is the dominant search provider in Europe with roughly a 90 percent share of the market, it’s most certainly who they are referencing.
Andreas Schwab, a German member of Europe’s parliament who helped draft the proposal, said that overly dominant market positions have never been good for the market. Schwab insisted that they’re simply highlighting the fact that there are tools the commission can use.
This past February, Google and the European Union reached an agreement to settle an antitrust probe dating back to 2010. The search giant said it would change how competitors’ links are displayed on their site for the next five years (the alternative would have seen the European Union slap Google with a fine of up to $5 billion).
The matter appeared settled until just a couple of months ago when competitors including Microsoft and others provided new arguments in the case. The deal has since been rejected.
It’s worth pointing out that Europe’s parliament doesn’t have the power to enforce such a breakup. What it could do, however, is put additional pressure on the European Commission to take action against Google.