Europe has never been a fan of Google’s dominant hold over the search industry. For the past few years, Google has been a focus of anti-trust cases from European Court, and now European Parliament is interested in splitting the company.
The split would focus on creating a new company based on the search engine. In general, Parliament believe this will be negate some of Google’s push into other services, using the dominant search engine to gain higher ranking and integration.
Google has previously used services like Drive, Gmail and News to push other services out of the competition, making sure the search ranking for Google owned services is higher than competitors. Europe does not want this to happen, not least because Google is a U.S. company and the search engine ranking makes it harder for European startups to flourish.
The U.S. is not happy with the proposal from the European Parliament, claiming this closes doors and does not make bridges between companies. It would be a good argument, but Google rarely makes bridges with anyone other than Google.
There is some cases where Google’s own services aren’t top of the search engine. Email, for instance, puts Outlook before Gmail. Google Maps and YouTube come first on searches of maps and video — Google Drive coming first on a cloud storage search.
Companies can pay for advertising, getting them to the top of the search ranking. Google has not revealed how many of the sponsored links are clicked on average though, meaning we cannot gauge how useful this ad-placement is for companies.
Even though Google tends to enjoy the luxury of having the largest search engine, it also is very open to other services. It might not work with them actively, but Google does a much better job than Apple, for instance.
Google has still not commented on the potential issue, creating a new company for the search engine. It might not be that big of a deal for Google — Nest Labs, Calico and YouTube are all separate from Google’s main company — we would expect the search engine company would work similar to those other separate subsidiaries.