In a vote on Thursday, European Parliament members voted 384 to 174 in favor of a resolution that calls for the unbundling of search engines from other commercial services to ensure competition among online companies. Although Google is not named specifically in the resolution, it’s clearly targeted at the dominant search engine.
The resolution would still have to be approved by the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, to take effect, but the overwhelming vote in favor of separating search from other online products increases the likelihood that Google could face a major regulatory headache.
In a press release, the European Parliament called on EU member states and the European Commission to “break down barriers to the growth of the EU’s digital single market” (a “single market” refers to the EU as an association of 28 countries trading freely between each other without restrictions). The Parliament also “stressed the need to prevent online companies from abusing dominant positions.”
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