Google shares closed higher in the US Monday, after a UK newspaper interview suggests the global tech giant could face being broken up, in order to ensure it doesn’t hold the monopoly in EU internet searches. Currently, Google is used in 91.5% of internet searches across Europe.
Google shares ended the US Monday trading session 2.68% higher at $1,054.09. The stock is also positive in current pre-market activity.
Google split option remains open
In an interview with The Telegraph, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that the EU continues to keep a close watch on Google’s activities and has not yet ruled out breaking the internet search giant up.
“I think it's important to keep that question open and on the agenda,” Vestager said when asked about ending its dominance by breaking it up. “We are not there yet but it is important to keep an awakened eye.”
Google is currently appealing a fine imposed by the EU last year for giving its own shopping comparison service an illegal advantage during internet searches.
Vestager goes on to say that “there is no ban on success in Europe”. However, she also added that there is evidence of Google misusing its dominance to “diminish competitors.”
Not just targeting tech firms
Vestager has been in her role as EU competition commissioner since 2014 and she has made some high-profile decisions during that time so far.
That includes challenging Apple and Amazon on their tax payments and taking on Facebook too – another tech business that remains in her sites amid the ongoing data privacy issue the firm is currently fielding.
But, despite her track record, Vestager says she isn’t focused only on the tech sector.
“I think the motives for illegal behaviour are the same for any kind of company. Money, fear, power – these motives have been the same across centuries,” she said.