EU Mandarins Want To “Break Up Google” – Commissar Oettinger Strikes Again

A Fount of Bad Ideas

We have previously reported on the EU’s new digital commissar Mr. Oettinger, who has recently announced he wants to make an EU case against Google a “model case” for the EU’s approach to large companies serving the inter-tubes. Naturally, the entire convocation of busybodies in Brussels is all for this bizarre idea.

The today still widely accepted theory of monopoly has been throroughly refuted in its entirety by Murray Rothbard’s contribution in “Man, Economy and State” (pdf; see chapter 10: “Monopoly and Competition”). Naturally, this contribution has been widely ignored in spite of its originality and importance, mainly because it implies that there is no cause for government intervention to “rein in monopolies” whatsoever. In other words, the EU’s “competition commission” is really superfluous.

The idea to break up Google (GOOG) is moreover based on the utterly absurd notion that EU companies that don’t even exist need to be “protected”.


Reuters reports:

“The European Parliament is preparing a non-binding resolution that proposes splitting Google Inc’s search engine operations in Europe from the rest of its business as one possible option to rein in the Internet company’s dominance in the search market.

European politicians have grown increasingly concerned about Google’s and other American companies’ command of the Internet industry, and have sought ways to curb their power. A public call for a break-up would be the most far-reaching action proposed and a significant threat to Google’s business.

The draft motion does not mention Google or any specific search engine, though Google is by far the dominant provider of such services in Europe with an estimated 90 percent market share. Earlier on Friday, the Financial Times described a draft motion as calling for a break-up of Google. Google declined to comment.

The motion seen by Reuters “calls on the Commission to consider proposals with the aim of unbundling search engines from other commercial services as one potential long-term solution” to leveling the competitive playing field.

Parliament has no power to initiate legislation and lacks the authority to break up corporations, and while the draft motion is a non-binding resolution, it would step up the pressure on the European Commission to act against Google.

Google already faces stern criticism in Europe about everything from privacy to tax policies, and has been wrestling with a European court’s ruling that requires it to remove links from search results that individuals find objectionable. The company has grown so large as to inspire distrust in many corners, with a chorus of public criticism from politicians and business executives.”

Resentment, however, has been building in Europe for years.

(emphasis added)

It is of course always a great idea to base one’s economic policies on “resentment” and envy instead of facts. If EU politicians are so “concerned about American companies’ command of the Internet industry” they should reject socialism, remove regulations and lower taxes, so as to make capital accumulation for entrepreneurial upstarts once again possible.

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