By Daniel Hunter

The European Parliament has voted in favour of a proposal to break Google's search business away from its other services.

Although the European Parliament has no power to force the internet giant to separate any parts of its business, but the vote gives a clear indication to regulators as to how politicians feel about Google.

US politicians criticised the EU vote. A joint letter from two US government committees said: "This and similar proposals build walls rather than bridges [and] do not appear to give full consideration to the negative effect such policies may have on the broader US-EU trade relationship."

The Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) said the "increased politicisation" of Google was "deeply troubling".

Europe has been locked in an antitrust investigation over Google for more than four years, but it is yet to reach a conclusion.

Google has a 90% share of the search market in Europe, and it has been accused of favouring its own services in search results.

In February, Google agreed to change the way it displays its own services its its search results. But the changes is suggested were heavily criticised by the rivals which lodged the original complaint in 2010.

The vote was proposed by European Parliament members Andreas Schwab, a German conservative, and Ramon Tremosa. In a statement, they said: "In case the proceedings against Google carry on without any satisfying decisions and the current anti-competitive behaviour continues to exist, a regulation of the dominant online web search should be envisaged."

"In the past, Google has failed to propose adequate remedies to address the Commission's concerns and continued to pursue its practices unabatedly. It continued thereby to suppress competition to the detriment of European consumers and businesses."

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