European Union wants to break up Google

Those of us who were around in the 90’s may remember when Microsoft became subjected to lawsuits by competitors and even governments because of what was perceived as their monopoly status, their aggressive tactics in maintaining that status, and their stranglehold on the PC market, which was an issue of their bundling of Internet Explorer with their OS, and their use of Media Player. Speaking of the European Union specifically, they have sued Microsoft again and again and again. Of course, Microsoft can give it as well as take it.

While I always understood the concerns and the actions taken, I always felt the relentless pursuit of Microsoft specifically was uneven in the tech industry, when other companies were dominant in other areas, such as AOL / Time Warner. It wasn’t as though people couldn’t download other browsers, and the concern about browsers is long over with all of the options available.


Well, the EU is nothing if not consistent. They are now contemplating issuing a recommendation that Google separate its search functions from everything else it does, such as their cloud services, mapping, Android and other functions.

I can’t argue that Google is dominant in many things, and they now even have Chromebooks, which are laptops that run Google’s Chrome OS and which connect you to Google services, and don’t allow for installation of competitor’s software like Office. Google’s search is so dominant, the word itself has become a verb, and if you tell some to “Bing It,” you risk getting beaten up. Honestly, I’m surprised it took them as long as it did, considering the zeal with which they’ve gone after other companies, and the zeal with which they have *not* gone after others.


Even so, Google has been hit by several regulations across the pond, including the new Right to be Forgotten law, and some say Google doesn’t actually have any assets in the United States at all,  everything they actually own is in Ireland to take advantage of ultra-liberal tax laws, which are being taken away. I’m honestly starting to feel bad for them – but not too much – they provide us with so much great stuff, including Earth, Street View, Voice, Gmail (You know the link), and on and on; sometimes it seems like when a company reaches significant market share or influence, their ability to continue to innovate gets hampered by government involvement.

If I were a betting man, I’d consider that Amazon would be next. Their Kindle line ties you directly to Amazon services and the Amazon Marketplace in a very closed ecosystem. It’s the mobile version of AOL.

The EU recommendation is just that; it’s not a law, it’s not  mandate, but it presents difficulties for Google and their continuing meteoric rise.

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