Europe to vote on Google breakup proposal

google break up

Google controls 90% of all Web searches in Europe, giving it unequaled power it doesn't enjoy in the United States.

On Thursday, members of Europe's parliament will vote on a resolution that will propose ways to shrink Google's influence in Europe.

"It's a monopoly. It's killing our technology businesses," said Ramon Tremosa, a member of parliament who's authoring the draft measure.

The draft resolution demands an end to "Google's illegal and discriminatory treatment."

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The proposal cites a frequent complaint: that Google search results are ranked based on what's best for Google as a business, not the user. It also calls for a drastic move "to restore competition in the online marketplace."

Among the ideas: Ripping apart Google's ranking algorithm and rotating results instead to boost competitors. Another idea is to force a breakup of Google's European operations.

Google (GOOG) declined to comment.

But even if the vote passes on Thursday, it'll only be a recommendation. Final authority lies with another branch of the government: the European Commission.

Google has long been fighting antitrust issues in Europe. Regulators there have criticized the way Google displays searches, ranking its own services higher than others. They've also taken issue with the company's consolidated power in the online advertising business, as well as how Google scrapes content from the Internet to post it on its own search results.

The worry: All of it hinders competition.

 Inside Google's billion dollar airfield
Inside Google's billion dollar airfield

Google is also dealing with Europe's new "right to be forgotten" rule, which lets Europeans tell search engines to take them off search results that are outdated or inappropriate. All it takes is filling out a form.

There have also been European Union concerns about Google's privacy policy, along with complaints that Google controls the mobile market with its Android smartphone software.

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