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The EU Threatens To Break Up Google On Antitrust Grounds

The European Union isn't taking the option of dismantling Google off the table as it attempts to crack down on how e-commerce sites and search engines favor their own services and rank search results.

The European Union has not ruled out breaking up internet giant Google in an attempt to regulate how e-commerce sites and search engines favor their own services and rank search results.

The European Union (EU), according to antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, has harbored "grave concerns" with Google's internet dominance, Britain’s Telegraph newspaper reported on Sunday. As such, the EU is toying with the idea of breaking Google into smaller entities to protect competition.

Vestager said that dismantling the internet giant could prove to be one of the only viable options that could prevent Google from becoming too large to challenge.

[Related: Google's Billion-Dollar Cloud Business Takes On AWS, Azure With AI, Machine Learning]

’I think it's important to keep that question open and on the agenda,’ Vestager said. ’We are not there yet, but it is important to keep an awakened eye … We have proven [Google's] dominance in search, and we have found they have misused this dominance to promote themselves and diminish competitors.’

Google's platform dominates internet search in the EU, accounting for 92 percent of the entire search industry, according to Gizmodo.

The EU is currently working on new regulations that are geared toward keeping e-commerce sites, app stores, and search engines more transparent with how search results are ranked and why some listings are de-listed.

Right now, Google running up against EU rules on its commercial practices with smaller businesses that rely on Google's services. The EU handed down a record-breaking fine equivalent to about $2.97 billion to Google in June 2017 after the EU accused the internet giant of favoring its own shopping service over others. Google, for its part, is appealing against the claim.

The EU has said it expects more cases to follow as the company's dominance could be viewed as hurtful to competing companies.

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