back to article B is for Brussels: Google's corporate rejig WON'T insulate firm against antitrust probes

Brussels confirmed late on Tuesday that Google's radical corporate shape-shifting that spawned parent company Alphabet would not "insulate" the Chocolate Factory from the EU's competition probes. The European Commission's competition spokesman Ricardo Cardoso told The Register: We have seen press reports that Google is …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And 'A' is for APPLE!

    That's how i learned my alphabet, Mr Google.

  2. Daggerchild Silver badge

    Odd. Too few shards.

    If it's a defensive ploy I'd have thought they'd shatter Google Search into more pieces so the legal blows that land in one jurisdiction don't cause cracks in another.

    I'd have expected Scraping / Weighing / Personalising /Serving and Advertising to decouple and gain geo-independant inter-Business level API's. This isn't that.

    It's not the multiple levels of polymorphic shell/shill companies needed for True Evil either. It *might* be a defence against the US law of shareholder-value-uber-alles tho. The wait continues.

    1. James 100

      Re: Odd. Too few shards.

      Agreed. To protect against this sort of threat, surely the best remedy would be to break off "Google Europe" as a genuinely independent entity, which buys in search facilities from the original Google (in much the same way Yahoo buys in search from Bing). That way, EU governments has much less leverage to try to force changes on the non-EU websites; any fine would have to be based on the EU turnover only (since the rest of Google is just a supplier now).

      Presumably, Google know that the Alphabet stuff won't have any effect on this anti-trust problem - so must be doing it for some other reason. What might that be?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Odd. Too few shards.

        >any fine would have to be based on the EU turnover only

        No it wouldn't, the Eu can levy any fine it wants based on anything it wants - of course collecting it is a different matter.

        Making each leaking oil tanker a wholly owned subsidiary whose only asset was the leaking tanker didn't protect oil companies in the 70s.

    2. Ian Michael Gumby

      @Daggerchild ... Re: Odd. Too few shards.

      I don't know...

      You're looking at this from a way of protecting themselves from the EU investigation.

      A different twist?

      Suppose you wanted to see this as a way to make Google less of a monopoly.

      That is to say that Google isn't using their cash spigot to toss $$$$ as a way of selling a loss leader to gain market share and wipe out any competition. This would make Google a monopoly and thus open to government action.

      So by creating a holding company... and then splitting the business where net new business in one umbrella and the search and stuff in the other... its easier to show the flow of money and reduce the risk of being called a monopoly.

      I don't know if this is the reason... it could be that it makes it easier for investors to see the money flow and to help keep their stock up on Wall St.

  3. Teiwaz

    Took me a moment to understand the piccy relevance

    I keep forgetting the 'chocolate factory' ref.

    I thought, did Wonka ever go though anti-trust probe (ooh-er madam)? I didn't recall that in any of the books...

    I think it's a pity it's not known as the sweet factory, then there'd be excuse to use the beastie from 'Doctor Who - The Happiness Patrol' which really offended the Liquorice allsorts people.

  4. Charles Manning

    I doubt it's anti-trust protection

    If you get to "cute" with corporate structuring judges can just decree that a conglomerate should be treated as a single company. Thus a restructure to try do a "Baby Bell" anti-trust dodge won't work.

    Where it will work though is siloing some of the new business units with different risk and business profiles. For example, keeping the Google car and Google spaaaace business units in their own companies reduces risk as well as allowing those entities to be sold off easily if/when that makes sense.

  5. Speltier


    There, corrected the spelling. Phear, Uncertainty, and Doubt will help phend off the bloody burgeoning billions of bilious bustard bureaucrats of Brussels.

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