Articles about Brussels

Likes of Google to have undue influence in Brussels, say activists

The EU is in danger of signing away its ability to regulate major US companies - for instance Google and Facebook - according to lobbyists opposed to the way transatlantic trade talks are going. Round eight of negotiations on TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement) is taking place in Brussels this …
Jennifer Baker, 05 Feb 2015
Costumed pirate

Cutlasses rattle in Brussels as Black Spot copyright report argument heats up

MEPs have been scribbling furiously in response to Pirate MEP Julia Reda’s report on copyright. Reda told El Reg that her non-legislative report on the functioning of the so-called Infosoc Directive had received more than 550 amendments – a staggering number for a report that isn’t even legally binding. Reda’s report [which we …
Jennifer Baker, 06 Mar 2015
Sad cloud

EU governments are CRAP at cloud, moans Brussels' infosec watchdog

European governments haven’t got a clue how to implement cloud services. So say the EU's own cybersecurity experts. ENISA (the European Network and Information Security Agency) has released a report on the adoption of something it calls “Gov Cloud”, defined as “a deployment model to build and deliver services to state agencies ( …
Jennifer Baker, 28 Feb 2015

Look out, it's 'H' from Brussels: New Euro digi-czars take post

It’s official. Europe’s new digital dream team will feature Andrus “The Robot” Ansip and gaffe-prone Günther “H” Oettinger.* Data protection commander-in-chief will be Vera Jourova (who also gets the pick 'n' mix portfolio of justice, consumers and gender equality), while Margrethe Vestager will do battle with Google under the …
Jennifer Baker, 22 Oct 2014

FURY erupts on streets of Brussels over greedy USA's data-slurping appetite

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Brussels on Friday to express anger about secret trade talks between the EU, US and others that they believe would damage the 28-member-state bloc's data protection rights. More than 1,000 people marched in the centre of the EU quarter to protest about the Transatlantic Trade and …
Jennifer Baker, 20 Dec 2014
Facebook

What's up, Zuck? Facebook asks Brussels to probe its GIGANTIC WhatsApp deal

Facebook has asked the competition wing of the European Commission to probe its $19bn buyout of WhatsApp in a move to apparently nullify a host of investigations being sparked in multiple EU nations. According to the Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter, Facebook appears to be keen to swerve antitrust …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 May 2014

Will the next US-EU trade pact prevent Brussels acting against US tech giants?

The European Union government in recent years has proven to be perhaps the most willing to take on the world's major tech companies over digital rights and wrongs. But that could come to an end if planned measures allowing companies to sue governments for lost profits are implemented as part of the next EU-US trade agreement. A …
Jennifer Baker, 18 Jul 2014
Google Chocolate Factory

Google close to inking search biz deal with Brussels: report

Google is reportedly edging closer to scoring a settlement deal with competition officials in Brussels regarding the ad giant's alleged abuse of its dominance in the European search market. According to Reuters, Google has submitted a "much better" revised package of concessions to the European Commission's anti-trust chief …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Jan 2014
Original "Airplane" image from Paramount Pictures

Brussels' transport chief demands a single European sky to end 'air traffic gridlock'

EC officials are pushing for countries in the 28-member bloc to bring an end to "gridlock in the skies" above Europe, by urging them to be more flexible about national airspace. The EU's transport commissioner, Violeta Bulc, said during a speech in Rome, Italy on Friday that attitudes needed to change to address what she claimed …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 Nov 2014
Google and Microsoft

Brussels' antitrust boss not budging on planned Google competition deal

Brussels' antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia is refusing to reverse the planned settlement deal he has agreed with Google over the company's alleged abuse of its dominant market position on search. His seemingly stubborn refusal to change direction on the proposed agreement was highlighted this week during secret, two-hour-long …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Mar 2014

Whistling Google: PLEASE! Brussels can only hurt Europe, not us

+Analysis A few days ago President Obama wrote a cheque he knew he couldn’t cash - and this week the European Parliament will write another. Reports suggest that the Parliament is drafting a motion calling for the break-up of Google and its ilk. Much like Obama’s net neutrality pledge, it’s meaningless, but even so, it’s still hugely …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Nov 2014
Julia Reda MEP, Pirate Party. Pic: Joachim S. Müller

Last Pirate in Brussels: Put ME in charge of yer IP treasure chest. Yarr!

Analysis With more individuals than ever posting their words and pictures to social media and sites like Flickr, you may think it's an odd time to weaken the copyright controls and protections we have over our work. Yet Europe has got itself into a unique pickle over copyright – and it was advised this week to slash such protections as …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Jan 2015
willy wonka oompa loompa

More oompa loompas needed to push Google's EU agenda

Google and Facebook are throwing people and money at the EU in an effort to ensure more laws go their way. Both companies are recruiting new policy wonks to influence law-makers in Brussels. Google is after two public policy and government relations analysts – one to work on the European Commission and the Council, the other to …
Jennifer Baker, 13 May 2015
The Register breaking news

Desperate broadband minister in Brussels cash splash dash

Culture Secretary Maria Miller, chief of UK broadband policy, has raced to Brussels this morning to have crisis talks with the European Commission's competition boss, Joaquin Almunia, in a move to get state aid clearance for the £530m rollout of broadband networks in rural parts of the UK. The Department for Media, Culture and …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 Nov 2012
Taxi Driver

Belgian minister set to legalise Uber

After Uber’s woes in France, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain, Belgium looks set to overturn its existing ban on the (taxi and/or tech) service and bring it within legal regulation. Brussels' mobility minister Pascal Smet has set out a plan to regularise the service, which is still technically illegal in Belgium despite the …
Jennifer Baker, 23 Apr 2015
European Union Flag

Google's latest Brussels self-abuse proposal needs 'concrete tech'

Agitators in the European Parliament are pressuring Brussels' competition chief to properly market test Google's new round of proposals to the Commission on its alleged abuse of dominance in the search business. MEPs approved the so-called Tremosa Report on Thursday, which - among other things - urges antitrust commissioner …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Oct 2013
The Register breaking news

Microsoft to comply with Brussels over browser choice gaffe

Microsoft has reportedly agreed to comply with any sanctions laid down by competition officials in Brussels, who are currently probing the software giant's allegedly mistaken banishment of a "browser choice" screen, which would have allowed European customers to pick which browser they wanted to run on their Windows-based …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Sep 2012
Twitter for Mac New

Oi, Twitter! Sign this or we won't talk to you, growls EU

Twitter could soon find itself cold-shouldered by top European law-makers. The deadline for all companies and organisations wanting to lobby the EU to update their information on the so-called Transparency Register passed this week. The annual update was more important than usual this year since the Commission, under president …
Jennifer Baker, 01 May 2015

Stop the war between privacy and security – EU data watchdog

Security and privacy are not mutually exclusive says Europe’s privacy watchdog – and people should stop saying they are. The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Giovanni Buttarelli, told a Brussels conference he was concerned that “the objective of cyber-security may be misused to justify measures which weaken protection …
Jennifer Baker, 29 Apr 2015
The Register breaking news

Brussels looks set to OK Apple e-book collusion deal, sources say

Brussels officials have reportedly indicated that a settlement deal proposed by Apple and four of the publishers in Europe's competition probe into ebooks price-fixing with be accepted by the Commission. According to Reuters, which cites two unnamed sources, an offer from Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, the Hachette …
Team Register, 06 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

Brussels reviews Google's plan for not being abusive and dominant

The competition wing of the European Commission confirmed this morning that its officials were currently poring over Google's latest search business remedy proposals, after the company submitted a document to Brussels yesterday. "We have received proposals by Google which we are now analysing," said Antoine Colombani, who is a …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Feb 2013
The Register breaking news

Brussels 'set to clear' state cash for UK broadband deployment

Europe's competition commissioner has reportedly signalled that he will allow state investment by the UK to improve rural broadband within the next few weeks. According to the Financial Times, only "minor changes" are required by Joaquin Almunia before the plan is granted approval from officials in Brussels. Other commissioners …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 Oct 2012

Muscles-from-Brussels Vanhamme crams into Dell EMEA role

The IT channel's very own muscles from Brussels Dominique Vanhamme has pitched up at Dell to run its networking business across EMEA. The tech industry veteran left Huawei Technologies in September after a year on board, claiming stifling bureaucracy and a lack of empowerment by China HQ hastened his exit. "I've been in …
Paul Kunert, 25 Feb 2013
The Register breaking news

Rivals to Brussels: Google labelling its own stuff won't help us

A Microsoft-backed lobby group that is fighting Google's alleged dominance of the search market in Europe has claimed that any concession by Brussels competition officials that involves labelling could do more harm than good for the ad giant's rivals. ICOMP's legal counsel David Wood argued today that Google's proposed remedy …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Feb 2013
Apple iPhone 5s: back, front, and side views

Fanbois, prepare to lose your sh*t as BRUSSELS KILLS IPHONE dock

Just spent 50 quid on the latest iPhone dock? You'd better start saving for a new one, because the EU has set a timetable for its plans to force all phone manufacturers to use the same charger. Although the EU is well known for its diversity policies, it has been planning to homogenise phone chargers for some time. Ultimately, …
Jasper Hamill, 20 Dec 2013
Sky2

'I don't NEED to pay' to watch football, thunders EU digi-czar

Europe’s new digital chief’s passion for ending geo-blocking has been explained: he’s missing out on his beloved Estonian football. The European Commission’s VP for the digital economy and former Estonian prime minister, Andrus Ansip, has reiterated his determination to end so-called geo-blocking in every speech he has made …
Jennifer Baker, 09 Dec 2014
The Register breaking news

Foundem urges Brussels: REJECT Google's search biz offer

UK-based price-comparison site Foundem has urged competition officials in Brussels to reject Google's formal offer of concessions, which is intended to address the ad giant's alleged abuse of dominance in Europe's search market. Google commands a hefty 90 per cent share of the search business in the European Union. In April, its …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 May 2013

Foreign firms must obey EU laws no matter where they're based, says EU. Hear that, Google?

In the midst of the ongoing antitrust negotiations with Google, Europe’s competition chief doesn’t give a fig where the search engine is from — it must simply obey EU laws or else. “In this, as in any other investigation, we are indifferent to where the companies involved happen to be headquartered," said Competition …
Jennifer Baker, 10 Apr 2015
Micro SIM Card

Brussels accuses chip makers of collusion

A five-year investigation in Europe into collusion into the smart card market is heating up, with the European Commission issuing a 90-page “statement of objections” to big-name vendors including Philips and Infineon. The European Commission complaint centres around the silicon used for SIMs, chipped passports, bank cards and …
The Register breaking news

Google preps for Brussels wrist-slap

Reports are emerging that European regulators have won a small victory over Google in their dispute about the impartiality or otherwise of the Chocolate Factory's search results. According to the New York Times, the antitrust investigation will end in the next couple of days with the European Commission accepting a settlement …
The Register breaking news

Brussels clears Liberty Global's £15bn Virgin Media takeover

US billionaire John Malone's company Liberty Global saw its £15bn bid to buy UK telco Virgin Media cleared by competition officials in Europe today. The takeover was waved through completely unchallenged by the European Commission, after the cable giant confirmed it wanted to acquire Virgin Media in February. The antitrust wing …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Apr 2013

It's the EU and me against the world – Euro digi-chief

Europe must stick together or the US will suck out our brains data; so warned Europe’s digi chief Gunther H-dot Oettinger on Tuesday. Speaking at the European Commission’s big flagship Digital4EU event, he reiterated the importance of the proposed Data Protection Regulation. Referring to Google and Facebook, Oetti said: “They …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Feb 2015
The Register breaking news

Brussels blesses British BDUK broadband boost blurt

Maria Miller's mercy dash to Brussels earlier this month appears to have paid off, after the European Commission confirmed today that it had cleared £530m in state aid investment for broadband deployment in the UK - along with what appear to be limp-wristed concessions. "BDUK [Broadband Delivery UK], as a national competence …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Nov 2012

EU ministers hold Big Meeting on Big Data. But how will they get you to hand it over?

Analysis Europe’s Industry and Internal Market Ministers have been told to have a good long think about Big Data before showing up to their next meeting in Brussels on 2 March. The “theme” of the next Competitiveness council meeting is “Unlocking Europe's digital potential: faster and wider innovation through open, networked and data- …
Jennifer Baker, 18 Feb 2015
Three  UK Passports

Blighty quietly signs deal to read giant EU border control database

The UK is to gain access to the EU’s massive border control database under a new agreement signed in Brussels on Tuesday. According to the Home Office, “more foreign terrorists, murderers and paedophiles will be kept out of the country” thanks to the deal agreed at the General Affairs Council, a meeting of interior ministers …
Jennifer Baker, 11 Feb 2015
management cio1

Avnet TS names vet Zammit as global el presidente

Patrick Zammit, the latest exec to grab global control of Avnet Technology Solutions (ATS), will be close at hand from his Brussels base to mastermind a sustained growth plan in EMEA, something that continues to elude the firm. A former senior auditor at Arthur Anderson - like many beanies now working in the channel - Zammit …
Paul Kunert, 06 Jan 2015

EU: Competition Commissioner met Google chief Schmidt

The European Commission is remaining tight-lipped about what was said in a meeting yesterday between Google supremo Eric Schmidt and Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. A Commission spokesman would only confirm that the meeting had taken place, but would not reveal the substance. But that hasn’t stopped rampant …
Jennifer Baker, 03 Mar 2015
The Register breaking news

Google given more time to prove to Brussels it's NOT 'abusive' in search

The two-year long competition probe of Google's search business in Europe is poised to continue at least into the second half of this year, commissioner Joaquin Almunia has confirmed. "We can reach an agreement after the summer break. We can envisage this as a possible deadline," he said on Friday, according to Reuters. The …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Feb 2013

Nothing says 'Taliban' quite like net neutrality, eh, EU Digi Commish?

Comment Gaffe-prone Gunther is at it again. This time the EU Digi-Commissioner Gunther H-dot Oettinger has described the enforcement of "uniform" net neutrality as "Taliban-like". Unsurprisingly digital rights activists have not been pleased at being compared with a fundamentalist organisation judged by the UN to be responsible for the …
Jennifer Baker, 10 Mar 2015
Google UK office logos

EU Google-bashing is making us look really bad, say Google bashers

It appears that Google's rivals, who have complained about the ad giant's European dominance, are worried that bashing the goliath can go too far. “It is irresponsible to try and make the Google case seem wider than it actually is,” said Microsoft-backed ICOMP, an organisation representing big businesses that have moaned to the …
Jennifer Baker, 13 Dec 2014
Slurp

Euro consumers have TOO MUCH choice – telco operators

Three or four market players is plenty, at least according to the GSMA, the association that represents nearly 800 mobile operators. At an event in Brussels this week, GSMA director Anne Bouverot said it was ridiculous that there were nearly 100 players in the EU market while the US does perfectly well with four or five. In …
Jennifer Baker, 12 Dec 2014
germany

German telco watchdog bitten by hound with bigger teeth

Germany’s telecoms regulator is in the firing line after it ignored requests from the European Commission to lower fixed termination rates. Fixed termination rates are the fees telcos charge each other to deliver calls between networks. Since each operator has access to customers on its own network, there is an incentive to …
Jennifer Baker, 07 Nov 2014

'We STRONGLY DISAGREE' that we done WRONG, says Google

Google has 10 weeks to respond to Brussels' preliminary finding that the world's largest ad broker abused its dominant position in the search market in Europe. However, the company was quick to attack competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager's decision to issue a Statement of Objections against Google on Wednesday. Mountain …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Apr 2015
The four designs under consideration for the ethical 'Fairphone'

European Parliament mulls law on use of blood metal in tech

MEPs will vote whether or not to make electronics manufacturers find out where the minerals in their products come from. The proposed law is part of an effort to clamp down on so-called conflict minerals. Militant groups in areas such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo often use the sale of tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Apr 2015
management regulation1

Belgium will drag Facebook to court if it has to – privacy minister

Belgium’s privacy tsar says he is ready to hand the Facebook case to prosecutors if consultations with the social network over alleged EU law breaches fail. This follows a report detailing several instances where Mark Zuckerberg's firm is alleged to have broken EU laws. Before snapping on the rubber gloves for an in-depth probe …
Jennifer Baker, 03 Mar 2015
Gavel

ECJ upholds LG’s €210M LCD panel cartel fine

The European Court of Justice has said the EU Commission was right to fine LG €210 million for its LCD panel cartel involvement. In 2010, the Commish imposed fines totalling €648.925 million on six Korean and Taiwanese producers of liquid crystal display panels because of their participation in a cartel. One of the largest …
Jennifer Baker, 24 Apr 2015

The BIG stretch: Software and flexing your firm's size

A mathematician (a Fields Medal winner, so a real one) once asked an economist whether there was anything in economics that was non-obvious and non-trivial. Well, the answer that came back was: "It's all obvious or trivial except Ricardo on comparative advantage." So, once explained, this analogy is both obvious and trivial, …
Tim Worstall, 11 May 2015

EU digital veep: If you like America's radical idea of net neutrality, you're in luck, Europe

Europe’s digi-chief has spoken out about net neutrality rules emerging from America, and mobile networks favoring particular websites over others. Speaking at an event in Brussels this week, Digital Vice President of the Commission Andrus Ansip said he sees no difference between the EU and the FCC in the US in their approach to …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Mar 2015

EU creative collection agencies want YouTube et al to pay their wages

Collecting agencies for audio-visual creators on Monday urged the European Commission to protect their income in the planned new copyright law and to make online platforms (among others) pay for it. The Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA), the association of European collective management organisations, called on digi …
Jennifer Baker, 24 Mar 2015
GCHQ road sign

Speak your brains on surveillance, despots. No we don't mean Five Eyes

Dutch Member of European Parliament, Marietje Schaake, has asked the public for input into her report on surveillance and human rights. Anyone with even a vague interest in “the impact of intrusion and surveillance systems on human rights in third countries” is invited to send their thoughts to marietje.schaake-office@ep.europa. …
Jennifer Baker, 17 Feb 2015