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Europe votes in favor of breaking up Google

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The European Parliament can't force Google to change, but its call for 'non-discriminatory online search' gives others the mandate to act

The European Parliament has today approved a non-binding resolution calling for the "unbundling of search engines from other commercial services" in order to ensure "competitive conditions within the digital single market." This proposal stirred up plenty of discontent when it was revealed a week ago, but it has been affirmed in its original form today, including the controversial unbundling provision. Without the authority to act on this resolution itself, the European Parliament is asking the European Commission and the EU's member states to ameliorate Google's dominant and apparently discriminatory position in online search by forcing it to decouple its search and ads businesses. The language is strong, describing search engines as "gatekeepers" that are of particular importance, and urging the Commission "to enforce EU competition rules decisively."

The other important provision in today's resolution is the Parliament reiterating its unqualified support for net neutrality:

"All internet traffic should be treated equally, without discrimination, restriction or interference, irrespective of its sender, receiver, type, content, device, service or application."