A senior German official has warned that Google may have such a dominant market position that a breakup of the company "must be seriously considered."
Such a move—which would be difficult to enforce because Google is based in the United States—could be a last resort for countries seeking to prevent the Internet search giant from systematically crowding out competitors, said Sigmar Gabriel, who is Germany's economy minister and vice chancellor.
"A breakup, of the kind that has been carried out for electricity and gas grids, must be seriously considered here," Gabriel wrote in an op-ed published Friday by German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. "But it can only be a last resort. That's why we are focusing on anti-trust style regulation of Internet platforms."