US lawmakers to Europe: Don't break up Google

Europe should follow a 'traditional regulatory process' when looking at antitrust complaints, U.S. lawmakers say

U.S. lawmakers want their counterparts in the European Parliament to back away from a resolution that would split up Google by separating search engines from other online services.

Thirteen U.S. lawmakers raised concerns about the resolution, which calls for search engines to be unbundled from online services, in two letters sent to Parliament leaders on Tuesday. The European Parliament may vote Thursday on the resolution calling on the European Commission to separate search engines from other commercial services as one way to solve competition complaints about Google.

The resolution doesn't mention Google specifically, but "it is a search engine that would be impacted," said a spokesman for Representative Anna Eshoo, a California Democrat who organized one of the letters.

The resolution would "deter continued innovation and investment from U.S.-based Internet companies," 12 U.S. lawmakers said in one of the letters. The proposal could slow cross-border data traffic "at the expense of millions of people across Europe who enjoy the use of these online services every day," said the letter, signed by Eshoo, Zoe Lofgren and Mike Honda, all California Democrats, Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat, Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, and Darrell Issa, a California Republican.

U.S. firms have invested trillions of dollars in the E.U., the letter said. "We support healthy competition and a level playing field for Internet companies in the U.S. and around the globe, and we believe these goals can be accomplished through the traditional regulatory process," the letter continued.

The European Parliament doesn't have the power to split up Google, but the European Commission, its executive arm, could take that action to resolve antitrust complaints.

Separate from the first letter, Representative Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, also voiced opposition to the European proposal in a letter to lawmakers there.

U.S. lawmakers were "troubled to learn that some European elected representatives are encouraging antitrust enforcement efforts that appear to be motivated by politics, rather than grounded in factual and legal principles," Goodlatte wrote. "We believe that antitrust enforcement should be applied independent of politics and firmly rooted in our shared international principles.

"Policies that run counter these principles undermine our free markets and ultimately harm both our businesses and our consumers," he added.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentinternetGooglelegislationlegalsearch enginesantitrustDarrell IssaEuropean ParliamentAnna EshooMike HondaZoe LofgrenU.S. CongressBob GoodlatteJared PolisJason Chaffetz

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?