The Parliament is, according to the Financial Times, poised to call on the European Commission to separate Google’s core search business from its other businesses or take some other serious measure to tackle the firm’s dominance in the EU.
It’s not just European press publishing houses that have been calling for the European Commission to reject Google’s antitrust settlement proposals: on Wednesday the mighty News Corp revealed that it too had sent a lengthy letter to outgoing competition commissioner Joaquín Almunia, congratulating him for putting off a settlement. CEO Robert Thomson described Google as a “vast, powerful, often unaccountable bureaucracy” and claimed that its dominance in tracking users for lucrative ad targeting limits the ability of publishers to make good money by, er, doing the same. Anyhow, the letter may be addressed to Almunia but it’s really for the attention of his successor, Margrethe Vestager, who will take over the case in November.
As expected, Google’s big European Union search antitrust case won’t be wrapped up by the end of October and will be passed to the next competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager. According to IDG, current antitrust chief Joaquín Almunia has conceded that he won’t be able to close the four-year-old case by the end of his tenure, after scores of companies complained about the ineffectiveness of Google’s proposed concessions. Meanwhile, Europe’s incoming digital economy chief, Günther Oettinger, has already made vague noises about limiting Google’s power, mere hours after his appointment was announced. Sounds like this will run into 2015.
The new-look European Commission was unveiled on Wednesday. They still need final approval, but you should probably get used to hearing about Andrus Ansip, Günther Oettinger, Margrethe Vestager and V?ra Jourová.