The steady deformation and breakup of emulsion drops in a uniform electric field are considered experimentally. Due to the low volume fraction of inner drops, the emulsions can be effectively assumed as Newtonian fluids with spatial nonuniformity. The measurements of the electrical properties show that the oil-in-water (o/w) emulsion drop behaves like a conducting drop. On the other hand, the water-in-oil (w/o) emulsion drops can be regarded as inhomogeneous leaky dielectric drops. It is found that the viscosity ratio is not an important parameter within the small deformation limit and breakup mode of the o/w emulsion drops. In the case of w/o emulsion drops, however, the breakup mode depends on the viscosity ratio. Inherent nonuniformity of the emulsion drops makes drop more deformable and unstable. The tip-streaming is the dominant breakup mode of o/w emulsion drops when the nonuniformity of drop phase is appreciable. (C) 1999 Academic Press.