The New York Times reports: The European Parliament on Thursday approved a nonbinding resolution for Google to be broken up into separate companies.
There is no immediate threat to Google from the vote, which amounts to little more than political posturing because the Parliament has no formal power over antitrust policy in the 28-member trade bloc.
But the vote signifies the increasing trans-Atlantic tensions over the dominant role that Google, an American technology titan, plays in Europe. The vote followed a separate move on Wednesday to rein in the company by a European regulatory body that aims to protect the electronic privacy of European citizens.
Thursday’s vote could also raise pressure on Margrethe Vestager, the bloc’s recently installed competition commissioner, to speed up a decision on whether to bring formal antitrust charges against Google in a long-running investigation. That inquiry, begun in 2010, involves Google’s dominant position in Europe’s Internet search business, and asks whether the company’s search results favor other Google-related services and whether Google impedes its competitors’ search-advertising platforms. [Continue reading…]