Whenever an organization becomes too large, too complex, and too intertwined in too many facets of business, governments begin to take notice. You need look no further than the breakup of the Bell System last century to see what’s possible when a single entity begins to control too much of a given field. Now, regulators in the European Union are beginning to cast a similar glance in the direction of Google, with a motion being backed this week that would break up the company and in turn reduce its strength.
Google hasn’t exactly been in the best of graces with the EU, coming under fire for privacy issues, requests to delete search results according to a court ruling, and tax issues. While the resolution is non-binding, it sends a clear message that it has intentions to shake things up for the search engine superpower. As you’d expect, these folks see Google as a tried-and-true monopoly, controlling so large a chunk of certain businesses that no others can reasonably compete or pull strings.
Thus far, Google is declining to comment, and European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has confirmed that she will review the case before deciding on what the next steps are. Of course, not everyone has their pitchfork raised. Sophie in’t Veld from the Parliament’s ALDE liberal group said the following: “Parliament should not be engaging in anti-Google resolutions, inspired by a heavy lobby of Google competitors or by anti-free market ideology, but ensure fair competition and consumer choice.”
“Mo money, mo problems” seems to be quite apt here.