The new EU competition commissioner has said that she needs more time to look into the long-running Google antitrust case, and may decide to limit its scope.
Margrethe Vestager said the case has been followed closely by the EU and the media, and that new considerations, such as media freedom and data processing, may have blurred the investigation.
"Our current investigations involving Google are among the most discussed in the media. The sheer amount of data controlled by Google gives rise to a series of societal challenges," she said.
"Privacy is one of the most pressing concerns. Media pluralism is another. Not all of these challenges are primarily economic in nature and not all of them are competition related.
As a result she said the case could not possibly hope to address all the concerns in one go and would have to ensure it remained focused on the key issues.
"So many of the Google-related concerns voiced in the public debate cannot be addressed in our investigations into the company's alleged anti-competitive practices. We will have to limit ourselves to what we identify as competition problems."
Vestager also explained that she will collate evidence from parties "directly affected" by the most pressing problems, and will base the progression of the case on that evidence.
"To decide how to take our investigations forward, I need to know what those most directly affected by the practices in question have to say. I need to have a representative sample of the views of those concerned," she said.
"Also, we are talking about fast moving markets. I have to be sure that we have all the facts up to date to get it right. In short, the issues at stake in our investigations have a big potential impact on many players. They are multifaceted and complex. I will therefore need some time to decide on the next steps."
Google has not yet responded to V3's request for comment.
Geoengineering on the sea floor near glaciers would form a new ice shelf to prevent melting
Alterations in capillary blood flow can be caused by body position change
Curiosity rover is in 'normal mode' but not transmitting scientific data back to base
NatWest outage comes a day after Barclays' IT systems shut out customers and staff