Google has been targeted by a number of antitrust measures in Europe over the past few years. The latest plan, to break up the company altogether, is being readied by the European Parliament, according to the Financial Times.
The plan for a breakup may be more about political showmanship, the FT said, since the parliament does not have the power to force Google to divest businesses. However, the move does put greater pressure on the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, to address antitrust and privacy issues seen with the search giant.
The plan reportedly calls for the "unbundling [of] search engines from other commercial services." Ramon Tremosa, a Spanish EU parliament member who sponsored the plan, said that the commission was looking for alternative solutions since it couldn’t force Google to divulge its secret search algorithm.
The final text of the plan will be decided on next week, the report said, followed by a vote on Thursday. Critics argue that Google's dominance over online search allows it to favor its own services at the expense of its rivals.
Five months ago, Google began removing links in searches regarding privacy concerns, under the European Court of Justice's “right to be forgotten” rules. The rules require search engines to consider requests to remove "outdated or irrelevant" Web links that refer to people's past.