New reports have surfaced over the past couple days indicating the European Union may be planning to introduce a motion at a meeting this upcoming Thursday suggesting Google unbundle its search engine from other offerings the company makes available. Reports indicate executives within Google are “furious” about this latest move by the EU and the short notice they have received.
Earlier this year the EU was working with Google on a deal to try to allay fears that Google was inappropriately using its search dominance in conjunction with other services. However, those talks were dropped after competitors, including Microsoft, objected. The EU re-opened an investigation in September.
Germany appears to be the country most concerned, at least publicly, about Google’s influence and reach. Andreas Schwab, a German member of the European parliament, has publicly stated that “unbundling cannot be excluded” and he is one of the backers of the pending motion. Schwab has been pushing for Google to share their ranking algorithms to ensure the company is not favoring their own services over competitors when displaying results.
A vote by the EU would not carry any direct weight or authority to force Google to split up or unbundle services. However, it would encourage and bolster anti-trust efforts in member countries that may be eyeing Google for a breakup.
Final wording for a motion should be developed during the upcoming week with a possible vote held on Thursday.