Consumer Watchdog Praises European Parliament’s Call To Break Up Google

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SANTA MONICA, CA – Consumer Watchdog today praised an expected call from the European Parliament to break up Google to end the Internet giant’s monopolistic dominance, a remedy that the public interest group proposed more than four years ago.

The Financial Times first reported today that the European Parliament is expected to call for the break-up next week.  The newspaper said the motion, if passed as expected, would “increase political pressure on he European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, to take a tougher line on Google, either in its antitrust investigation into the company or through the introduction of laws to curb its reach.”

The FT reported that its reporters had seen a draft motion that calls for the “unbundling [of] search engines from other commercial services.”

“It’s long been clear that Google uses its search results to unfairly advantage its own services,” said John M. Simpson, Director of Consumer Watchdog’s privacy project. “We proposed the break-up remedy to the U.S. Department of Justice in April, 2010.”

Read Consumer Watchdog’s April 2010 news release here:

“Such action could include breaking Google Inc. into multiple separate companies or regulating it as a public utility,” Consumer Watchdog’s 2010 letter said. “Google exerts monopoly power over Internet searches, controlling 70 percent of the U.S. market.  For most Americans – indeed, for most people in the world – Google is the gateway to the Internet. How it tweaks its proprietary search algorithms can ensure a business’s success or doom it to failure.”

There have been three proposed settlements of the European Commission’s ongoing antitrust investigation of Google, all of which were determined to be inadequate.

“The Commission should file a formal Statement of Objections,” said Simpson. “Breaking the Internet giant up into different companies according to the different lines of business is the way to go. We called for this back in 2010 and the need to do this has become even clearer as Google’s power has increased."

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John M. Simpson
John M. Simpson
John M. Simpson is an American consumer rights advocate and former journalist. Since 2005, he has worked for Consumer Watchdog, a nonpartisan nonprofit public interest group, as the lead researcher on Inside Google, the group's effort to educate the public about Google's dominance over the internet and the need for greater online privacy.

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