EU Antitrust Chief Open To Splitting Up Google

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Web giant Google has been in the sights of European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager for quite some time, and Vestager has now announced that she is considering trying to have the core Google business split up into individual business units. Doing so would make it easier to hold individual service teams within Google accountable, as they would be separate companies from the rest of Google and thus lesser in headcount and more fully culpable for any perceived wrongs. The smaller sub-companies produced as a result of such an action would also serve to all but force more transparency out of Google on a per-service level, since individual companies would be forced to file their own taxes and take on other telling tasks on a separate basis from the rest of the company.

As things stand, Google is the central internet business of Alphabet, and covers Chrome, Search, Shopping, Android, and a range of other web services. Outside of that, many of the smaller shell companies within Alphabet exist for the sake of moonshots or smaller departments, or even specialized teams and projects. Essentially, Google is one big anchor for Alphabet, while Alphabet is not so much a business in itself as a place for executives, administrators, board members, and other powerful figures to rule from, including the likes of Eric Schmidt and Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Vestager's movement would see that status done away with, essentially rendering Alphabet the true core of the business by default, and breaking Google into smaller, per-task companies much like how non-Google departments currently exist under Alphabet.

Vestager, as mentioned above, has pursued Google for some time on allegations of anti-competitive behavior. One of the most egregious offenses that the company has earned her ire for was when it was determined that Google was favoring its own Shopping service over more relevant results when showing Search users in the EU what to buy. This behavior was ultimately determined to be harming consumers by keeping them from cheaper fare that was closer to what they were looking for by making it more difficult to find, and resulted in the company being issued a whopping $2.97 billion fine.

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