Can Google Buy-Off Europe?

According to the Financial Times, Google (GOOG) plans to expand its global staff by one-third over the next couple of years. Most of the new people will be added in Europe.

Europe seems as good a place as any to pick up engineering talent. But, China and India might work better. And, Google to keep most of its staff in the US.

The move does not make much sense.

Or, does it? Google is the No.1 website by visitors in the US, Germany, and France. Having more people in these countries puts it closer to local language customers.

But, the agenda is probably bigger. Google has watched the EU rake Microsoft (MSFT) and Intel (INTC) over the coals in anti-trust investigations. The EU may want to ask Google about why it has such a dominant position in the search business in Europe. Governments there are already funding research to get into the search business themselves. And, that is probably a waste of money.

Google may be able to avoid EU pressure, if it employee enough people in the region.

Douglas A. McIntyre