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European Parliament votes to break up Google

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have voted to break up Google as parts of plans to tackle dominant internet search providers.

Members of the European Parliament want to break up dominant internet search providers. Credit: Chris Ison/PA

In a resolution which "called on EU member states and the European Commission to break down barriers to the growth of the EU's digital single market" the vote was approved by 384 votes to 174.

The resolution underlines that “the online search market is of particular importance in ensuring competitive conditions within the digital single market” and welcomes the Commission’s pledges to investigate further the search engines’ practices.

MEPs also stressed the need to prevent online companies from abusing dominant positions by enforcing EU competition rules and unbundling search engines from other commercial services "given the role of internet search engines in commercialising secondary exploitation of obtained information”.

MEPs added that “all internet traffic should be treated equally, without discrimination, restriction or interference”.

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Poundland posts jump in profit as it looks to expand

Poundland said its profits have jumped by a third as it continues to attract value-conscious-shoppers and adds new stores to its estate.

Poundland has long-term plans for 1,000 outlets across the UK and Ireland. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA

The West Midlands-based retailer, which has 556 stores in the UK and Ireland, opened its first outlets in Spain, called Dealz, in July and plans to have 10 over the next two years.

It added a net figure of 28 new stores in the UK and Ireland over the last six months and has long-term plans for 1,000 outlets, adding that it expects "to see many years of future growth."

The company's half-year results beat expectations today as total sales jumped 15% to £528.2 million, with like-for-like sales up 4.7% in the 26 weeks to September 28.

Underlying pre-tax profits jumped 34.2% to £12.6 million.

Vince Cable accuses Royal Mail of 'scaremongering'

Business Secretary Vince Cable has accused the boss of Royal Mail of "scaremongering" in claiming the universal post service is under threat.

Chief executive Moya Greene has warned that the high cost of the service, which ensures a same-price delivery for letters anywhere in the UK, six days a week, is not sustainable in the face of competition in high-density, low-cost areas.

ITV News business editor Joel Hills reports:

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Royal Mail is ‘wrong’ to scare public over universal service

Business Secretary Vince Cable has criticised Royal Mail bosses for “scaremongering” by indicating universal service may be under threat.

He said he felt it was "wrong" of chief executive Moya Greene to suggest it is.

He said a lot of people “depend” on the Royal Mail and the regular delivery it provides, particularly in remote areas, and he said they should not be made to feel insecure.

I think it’s wrong to scare the public.

The universal service obligation is absolutely clear, it’s protected in law by Parliament, it’s not going to change.

I think a bit of scaremongering is going on and it’s not healthy.

– Vince Cable, Business Secretary

Cable: Email is the biggest competition for Royal Mail

The privatisation of Royal Mail has gone “admirably” but the biggest competition to business was always going to be the ever-growing popularity of email, Vince Cable has said.

The Business Secretary told ITV News that the major objective of privatisation had been to allow Royal Mail to go out and compete and raise money on the open market for investment, which it had – raising £500 million to date.

But, he said, they were always going to have to compete with e-mail, which was replacing much of its traditional custom, on top of having to compete with other mail carriers.

Cable accuses Royal Mail bosses of 'scaremongering'

Business secretary Vince Cable has accused Royal Mail bosses of "scaremongering" by claiming the universal service is under threat.

He told ITV News the universal service obligation - which ensures people can send post anywhere in the UK for the same fixed price - is enshrined in law and will not be rescinded.

He said were it to be overturned, both Houses of Parliament would have to vote to do so - which, he added, is not going to happen.

It comes after Royal Mail chief executive Moya Greene warned that increasing competition in high density, low cost areas was threatening the universal service by making delivering to rural and remote areas not economically viable.

Mr Cable said Royal Mail, now it is only 30 per cent owned by the taxpayer, was free to raise capital privately - and said it had already raised £500 million to invest and compete.

He said the government did not want to see companies "whinging" about having to operate in a competitive market.

Cable: Royal Mail is 'scaremongering' and 'whinging'

Business Secretary Vince Cable has accused Royal Mail of "scaremongering" over warnings it may not be able to continue with its universal service.

Mr Cable told ITV News that chief executive Moya Greene's comments amounted to "special pleading" - and said the government did not want companies "whinging" about being in a competitive market.

ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills tweeted:

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