Google faces having its search engine and advertising unbundled
The European parliament has proposed breaking up Google to prevent its search engine dominance and alleged abuses.
The motion, passed by 384 votes to 174 votes, paves the way for the all-powerful European Commission to step in and unbundle Google’s search business from its advertising and other businesses.
The power of Google over the insurance industry was demonstrated this year by the fact that Moneysupermarket’s insurance revenues were hit when the company fell down Google’s natural search terms.
Google can also impose heavy penalties, which can hugely damage insurance firms reliant on the search engine. Protect Your Bubble was handed a three-month ban from appearing in Google’s natural search results last year.
The gadget insurer was punished for breaking Google’s rules as it tried to force its way up the search engine rankings.
However, Google’s own price comparison site strategy has been pretty muted. Google entered the insurance price comparison market when it bought Beatthatquote.com for £37.7m in 2011.
The company has since become Google Compare, which according to results filed at Companies House, made a £9.4m loss after tax on turnover of £7.4m in the year to 31 December 2013.