The European Parliament has recommended that Google search be split from other parts of the business -- and in addition to Google, any search engine tied to the respective company's other businesses. On Thursday, the Parliament passed a vote pointing to the online search market as particularly important in supporting "competitive conditions" within digital online markets in an effort "to prevent any abuse in the marketing of interlinked services by operators of search engines."
The draft motion stressed the need to prevent online companies from abusing dominant positions by enforcing EU competition rules and unbundling search engines from other commercial services -- and in some media reports, did not mention Google or any other specific search engine. The motionpassed with a majority of 384 votes to 174, with 56 abstentions. The same text also covered Net neutrality with the European Parliament voting in favor of all Internet traffic being treated as equal.
Earlier in the week, the United States voiced concerns over the EU's decision to interfere with Google's business model, "saying politicians should not influence the EU's antitrust inquiry into the world's most popular Internet search engine." The European Commission has been investigating Google for four years following complaints by rivals.