The EU is looking at Google and possible anti-competitive behaviour with the bravado statement that they may try and break up Google
Information and Information Technology is now at the heart of our society and politicians are engaged in a way that certainly was not the case 10 years ago. Now data privacy, the ‘right to be forgotten’, data sovereignty, online security and combating cybercrime occupy our legislators at the technical end of the spectrum. At the commercial end of the spectrum it is featuring in trade talks notably between EU and USA.
For citizens the freedom of expression, ‘search’ and the resulting empowerment of citizens (that Google has been an enabler) has created a new dynamic in society; the movement from a ‘deference society to a reference society’. That talks to a big societal change; no more tipping your hat to the guvnor then? Does that lead to defiance: I read on Google … so don’t try and pull the wool over my eyes.
EU vs Google. A waste of time when there are more important matters at hand like getting the many unemployed in Europe back to work?
In a revision to the original posting of this article the BBC reported on 27 November that the EU Parliament were to take a vote on this matter. Later the vote was reported by the BBC in favour of breaking Google up, as a solution to complaints that it favours is own services in search results. However, they have no power to break up Google so – what’s the point they are making? Is this a stake in the ground for a federal system of reform and the EU challenging USA dominance?
How it was written up in the European Parliament ‘Texts Adopted’ document on 27 November 2015 (extract). Scroll to ‘Digital Single Market’ starting at page 38.
Notes that the online search market is of particular importance in ensuring competitive conditions within the digital single market, given the potential development of search engines into gatekeepers and the possibility they have of commercialising secondary exploitation of information obtained; calls, therefore, on the Commission to enforce EU competition rules decisively, based on input from all relevant stakeholders and taking into account the entire structure of the digital single market in order to ensure remedies that truly benefit consumers, internet users and online businesses; calls, furthermore, on the Commission to consider proposals aimed at unbundling search engines from other commercial services as one potential long-term means of achieving the aforementioned aims;
Furthermore calls on the Commission to act quickly to consider potential solutions tending towards a balanced, fair and open internet search structure;
Stresses that, when operating search engines for users, the search process and results should be unbiased in order to keep internet searches non-discriminatory, to ensure more competition and choice for users and consumers and to maintain the diversity of sources of information; notes, therefore, that indexation, evaluation, presentation and ranking by search engines must be unbiased and transparent; calls on the Commission to prevent any abuse in the marketing of interlinked services by search engine operators;
Welcomes the announcement of further investigations by the Commission into search engine practices and the digital market in general;
It does NOT mention Google.