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United States says EU's Google case should not be politicised

[BRUSSELS] The United States voiced concern on Tuesday over a draft plan by two EU lawmakers to break up Google Inc, saying politicians should not influence the EU's antitrust inquiry into the world's most popular Internet search engine.

The US Mission to the European Union said in an email it "noted with concern" the call for competition regulators to consider splitting search engines from other Internet services. "It is important that the process of identifying competitive harms and potential remedies be based on objective and impartial findings and not be politicized," it said.

The European Commission has been investigating Google for four years following complaints by rivals and has yet to come to a conclusion.

The comments by the US Mission came a week after Andreas Schwab, a German conservative, and Ramon Tremosa, a Spanish liberal at the European Parliament, unveiled a draft of their resolution saying that separating search engines from other commercial services would ensure a level playing field.

Parliament has no power to break up Google but the proposal underlines widespread concerns among some EU politicians and companies about American dominance of the Internet, and could put pressure on the bloc's antitrust regulators to take a stronger line against Google.

Andrus Ansip, the EU's top official for digital markets, told Reuters on Monday he was concerned that some tech companies may be abusing their dominant positions but added that the Google investigations must not be rushed.