The European Commission has been pursuing Google for an alleged conspiracy of competitors, demanding that the company did something about the complete dominance that the internet giant has over its numerous competitors. The EC dictated that Google was taking some rather harsh methods to limit the prominence said competitors have inside Google own products and services, especially Search. This pursuit has been taking place for at least five years, and the main demand from the EC was that Google split up into different entities, so that other startups actually had a chance to grow and compete with Google. Yesterday, Larry Page published a shocking blog post in which it was announced that Google was going to be owned by a brand new company called “Alphabet“.
The main goal behind Alphabet was to strip Google form its many “moonshot” projects or daring inventions, such as Calico, Wing, Project Loon, and even the incredibly controversial self-driving car, among others. Ever since the announcement, a rumor began that the European Commission was responsible for the birth of Alphabet. As it was one of the only hints that pointed towards an eventual split up from Google, but it was never something that Google addressed itself. Fortunately, four legal experts that Business Insider spoke to, completely refuted the rumor and stated that the European Commission had nothing to do at all with Google’s split up into Alphabet.
Iowa Law professor and European antitrust expert, Herbert Hovenkamp, noted that “the division lines are in the wrong place”, which means that Google’s split up didn’t show any signs of being involved in Larry Page and Sergey Brin decision to separate the many projects from Google’s core elements. But even if the EC’s main goal for a long time was for Google to split up, it might actually make it more difficult for the antitrust authorities to investigate, as the former Google services and products will now be found inside independent entities, so if the European Commission wants to target an Alphabet subsidiary, it will only be able to target said subsidiary and not the company as a whole. “The core problem, from the EU’s perspective, is that Google enters into ‘vertical search’ markets while at the same time running the dominant search platform”, noted Keith Hylton, a professor of law at Boston University and contributor to Antitrust Law Journal. Google will now be able to carry the same business strategy under the Alphabet name now, without risking being the target of a lawsuit that could potentially hurt the many branches that Google previously had.