London: The European Union (EU) has “grave suspicions” about Google’s abuse of the monopoly it enjoys over Internet search in Europe and is open to breaking the tech giant into smaller companies, the bloc’s competition commissioner has warned. According to ‘The Daily Telegraph’, Margrethe Vestager has said that the threat to split the Internet giant up into smaller companies must be kept open.
In June last year, the Danish commissioner slapped the technology giant with a record fine of 2.42 billion euros or $2.7 billion for breaching EU antitrust rules by abusing the monopoly it enjoys over Internet search. Google has a 91.5 per cent share of the search-engine market in Europe, the report said.
“I think it is important to keep that question open and on the agenda. We are not there yet but it is important to keep an awakened eye,” Vestager was quoted as saying when asked if the only solution to its dominance was to break up the company.
She warned that the search engine could become so big as to be indispensable for businesses and the economy. “There is no ban on success in Europe. You get to be dominant and you get a special responsibility that you do not destroy the already weakened competition,” she was quoted as saying.”We have proven their dominance in search and we have found they have misused this dominance to promote themselves and diminish competitors,” she added.
This development comes at a time when another Silicon Valley giant Facebook is facing flak for data breach. Facebook is facing the heat after Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting company, was accused of harvesting data of up to 50 million Facebook users without permission and using the data to help politicians, including US President Donald Trump and the Brexit campaign. EU and British lawmakers have demanded that social media giant Facebook should clarify data breach following revelations that personal data was massively misused for political purposes.