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German economy minister says breaking up Google must be 'seriously considered'

FILE - In this Oct. 17, 2012, file photo, a man raises his hand during at Google offices in New York. People should have some say over the results that pop up when they conduct a search of their own name online, Europe's highest court said Tuesday, May 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

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FILE - In this Oct. 17, 2012, file photo, a man raises his hand during at Google offices in New York. People should have some say over the results that pop up when they conduct a search of their own name online, Europe's highest court said Tuesday, May 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

BERLIN - Germany's economy minister says Google may have such a dominant market position that a breakup of the company "must be seriously considered."

Sigmar Gabriel says such a move would be the "ultima ratio," or last resort, in an effort to prevent the Internet giant from systematically crowding out competitors.

Gabriel's comment Friday in an op-ed for German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung comes a day after 400 companies submitted a competition complaint against U.S-.based Google to the European Commission.

Gabriel said corporate breakups had previously been necessary in the electricity and gas supply industries to prevent a single company from abusing its dominant position.

He says his ministry would look into whether new rules for regulating Internet platforms are necessary before doing anything else.

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