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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Oliver Twist

Europe's Google wrangle: PLEASE, DOMINANT Mr Schmidt? More?

The European Commission apparently wants Google to make even more changes to its web search results, beyond those that Brussels has already requested. Brussels and Google are trying to reach a settlement following claims the advertising giant unfairly dominates the search market in Europe. The US goliath's rivals allege that …
Iain Thomson, 09 Sep 2014
A map of Europe's solar potential

Google tries to MAP its way out of competition trouble in Brussels

Google's rivals in Europe are fed up with what they see as Mountain View's intransigent attitude towards the now three-year-long regulatory competition probe of its search business. It's been a month since the European Union's antitrust commissioner Joaquin Almunia gave Google's enemies just four weeks to scrutinise the ad giant …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Nov 2013
The Register breaking news

Brussels' statement of objections against Google is MEATY

Google will be hit with a statement of objections document from the antitrust wing of the European Commission that is reportedly more than 400 pages in length. According to the Financial Times, that tome – detailing complaints from a variety of outfits that allege Google abused its dominant position in the search engine market …
Kelly Fiveash, 02 Dec 2011

Viv Reding quits justice commish role - heads for EU parliament

European justice commissioner Viviane Reding resigned from her Brussels' post today, after taking up her recently won seat in the European Parliament. The Luxembourg Christian Social People's Party politico said in a short Facebook post that her MEP mandate had begun on the same day as the "drastic reduction of tariffs of ' …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Jul 2014

Yelp files competition complaint against Google search biz in EU

Local services review site Yelp has formally submitted a complaint against Google's search business to Brussels' competition officials. It comes as the European Commission's antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia pushes to bring an end to a lengthy probe of the ad giant by sealing a proposed settlement deal with Google, even as …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Jul 2014
The Register breaking news

Brussels 'mulling probe' into brutal Apple negotiations with networks

The EU is examining Apple's deals with network operators, to ensure it's playing fair - but hasn't yet opened an official investigation. Citing the ubiquitous "people familiar with the matter" the New York Times tells us that various mobile network operators have been sharing their Apple contracts with the commission after the …
Bill Ray, 22 Mar 2013
The Register breaking news

Brussels pushes harder in Google probe

Google's regulatory worries are deepening today, with the news that the European Commission has agreed to broaden its inquiries into the dominant search engine's alleged anti-competitive practices. Officials announced they will investigate more claims that Google has rigged its algorithms against rivals. The new complaints come …
Team Register, 17 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

Brussels: Water cannot be sold as remedy for dehydration

Brussels prompted a flood of abuse this week by apparently banning bottled water vendors from promoting their products as a counter to dehydration. The European Food Standards Agency was asked to consider its "opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim related to water and reduced risk of development of …
Team Register, 18 Nov 2011
The Register breaking news

Brussels throws antitrust settlement lifeline to Google

Google has been given the chance to settle an antitrust investigation of the company's business practices in Europe, competition officials in Brussels confirmed today. The EU's competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia said this morning that he would consider "proposals of remedies" from the internet giant if it quickly addressed …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 May 2012

My smelly Valentine: Europe's perfumers wake to V-Day nightmare

A number of key ingredients used in perfume brands could soon be banned or restricted in the European Union, following health concerns about some of the compounds used in well-known fragrances including Chanel No 5. Brussels officials recommended on Thursday that three substances found in woody scents, including the oak and tree …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Feb 2014
The Register breaking news

This just in: Brussels shatters CRT cartel

The European Union has squeezed a settlement out of CRT glass manufacturers it accused of operating a cartel back in the days when people used glass screens. Three vendors will cough up a total of €128m (£111m) to settle the investigation. Nippon Electric will pay €43.2m, Schott AG will pay €40.1m and Asahi Glass will pay €45.1m …
Joe Fay, 20 Oct 2011
Woman throttling man

Steelie Neelie secures MEPs' support for 'net neutrality' – in principle

Members of the European Parliament jockeying for re-election voted for a wave of telecom regulatory measures proposed by Brussels' unelected digital czar today – including the proposal that mobile roaming charges should be axed by the end of next year. The politicos backed "Steelie" Neelie Kroes' reform package ahead of tense …
Kelly Fiveash, 03 Apr 2014
channel_teaser_exit

Huawei Enterprise's Muscles-from-Brussels Vanhamme scrams

Huawei Enterprise is already operating with a caretaker in the UK, and now an interim boss is about to take control of the European channel after the current chief Dominique Vanhamme leaves today. Back in May Simon Culmer upped sticks after 10 months as veep of Huawei UK. As he left to head up Avaya's local operation, Culmer …
Paul Kunert, 07 Sep 2012
Still from Miley Cyrus music video for Wrecking Ball

Indie record labels to haul YouTube before the European Commission

Indie record labels say they will lodge a formal competition complaint with the European Commission over Google-owned YouTube's alleged bully-boy tactics. The move comes as Google prepares to launch a Spotify-like streaming service using the YouTube brand. Last month, the indie labels' trade associations complained the …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Jun 2014

Microsoft-backed lobby group demands market test of Google's proposed 'search fix'

A Microsoft-backed lobby group is urging Brussels' competition chief Joaquin Almunia to open up Google's latest revised offer of a conciliatory package of tweaks to its search biz to the ad giant's rivals. Earlier this week, it was reported that the European Commission was closing in on a settlement deal with Google that would …
Kelly Fiveash, 31 Jan 2014
The Register breaking news

Almost entire EU now violating Brussels cookie privacy law

The deadline for the implementation of a European privacy law on cookies passed with a whimper at midnight last night, after just two Member States issued a full notification to Brussels. Meanwhile, 19 of the 27-bloc countries that make up the European Union ignored the 25 May deadline on implementing the full, or indeed partial …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 May 2011
money_yen_dollar_pound

Euro trade commish criticises Chinese telecoms subsidies

Chinese government subsidies to its telecoms sector are fundamentally unfair, Europe's top trade official has said - just after he announced that the European Commission has dropped a planned unfair pricing investigation into EU imports of Chinese mobile equipment. European Union trade commissioner Karel De Gucht criticised what …
OUT-LAW.COM, 07 Apr 2014

EU's year-long, muddled search for a privacy head rumbles on

The European Union is yet to find a replacement for its current data protection boss Peter Hustinx, who was supposed to vacate the post in January but stayed on after it became clear that none of the candidates were suitable successors. Late last month, Brussels officials finally re-advertised jobs for the European Data …
Kelly Fiveash, 04 Jun 2014

European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive

A European Union directive that required ISPs to retain data for two years has been deemed "invalid", Brussels' highest court ruled today. The measure "entails a wide-ranging and particularly serious interference with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data, without that …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 Apr 2014
The Register breaking news

Report: Microsoft to cop it from Brussels in Browser Choice affair

Microsoft is reportedly set to be whacked with a Statement of Objections from European Commission competition officials over the software giant's foolish browser-choice gaffe in which users of the Windows OS were steered into using the firm's IE software. According to Bloomberg, which cited two anonymous sources familiar with …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Sep 2012
Manneken Pis statue, Brussels

Microsoft to build 'transparency centres' for source code checks

Microsoft has announced it will establish a set of "transparency centres" around the world, at which government clients can rifle through its source code to satisfy themselves it contains no back doors. Announced last week at the Munich Security Conference, Microsoft's veep for security Matt Thomlinson said the centres “...will …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Feb 2014
Google UK office logos

Mr Almunia, how many more times can Google rewrite Euro search 'dominance' settlement?

On 30 November 2014, the European Commission will have been probing Google's search business practices for a whopping four years. Formal proceedings were opened against the ad giant in late 2010. The date is significant, given that by then we should also know who will replace antitrust boss Joaquin Almunia in Brussels. As the …
Kelly Fiveash, 23 Jul 2014
Google walks

Google adds 'data protection' WARNING to Euro search results

Google has begun notifying European Union-based netizens that its search results have to respect the 28-member-state bloc's 19-year-old data protection law. The ad giant has plastered the warning on its search engine across the EU from today. But, anyone living in those countries who navigate to Google.com will find that the " …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Jun 2014
The Register breaking news

Brussels opens ears on cloud computing

The European Commission has opened a consultation on cloud computing ahead of the creation of a Europe-wide strategy. Neelie Kroes, Digital Agenda Commissioner, said she wanted to hear from cloud developers as well as users. Of particular interest is feedback on cross-border data protection and liability, standards and …
John Oates, 16 May 2011

Vodafone turns to EU, asks it to FORCE 'fair' fibre pricing

Vodafone needs to get high-speed handsets into the hands of consumers to effectively compete in the market. But the company also needs to worry about how to handle all that data – and it's hoping the European Commission will help it get its hands on some cheaper fibre. It is hoping the EU will introduce mandatory price …
Simon Rockman, 27 May 2014
graph up

Brussels objects to WD's Hitachi GST purchase

The European Union is objecting to Western Digital's proposed purchase of Hitachi GST on antitrust grounds. The European Commission has issued a formal Statement of Objections. A Western Digital SEC filing said: The Statement of Objections sets out the European Commission's preliminary assessment regarding the combination of …
Chris Mellor, 19 Aug 2011
Phillip's bacon/soda bread combo

Apple's Irish tax lair to be probed by European Commission

Apple's tax arrangements in The Republic of Ireland are about to become the subject of an official European Commission investigation, according to a report by Irish public service broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTE). The report suggests competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia will take to the stage on or after June 11th …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jun 2014
Ski the Santa Clara police dog

Google will 'pre-select' an 'independent' competition inspector in EU search case

Competition chiefs in Brussels have begun sending out rejection letters to complainants in the long-running Google search antitrust case, revealing - among other things - that the ad giant will be picking candidates for the role of "monitoring trustee". The person or persons appointed to the role will be expected to …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Jun 2014
The Register breaking news

Brussels to banks: Prepare for tougher data breach rules

European Commissioner Viviane Reding has warned banks that they will be required to notify customers about data security breaches. A new bill which is expected to arrive in the autumn will be "very solid on rules", the Brussels Justice Minister and vice president of the European Commission told The Register yesterday. Earlier …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Brussels quizzes UK on school kiddyprinting

The European Commission has raised "significant concerns" with Britain over schools that collect and store children's fingerprints. Officials in Brussels have written to the government after a father in Scotland, who objected to such a policy at his daughter's school, complained. Chris Halliday, whose case was first covered by …
The Register breaking news

Tech vendors turn to Brussels as copyright levy talks fold

A group of consumer electronics giants have called time on efforts to bring some coordination to Europe's mosaic of national copyright levies and will target action from Brussels. The FT reports that Apple, HP, Sony and friends have been speaking to the organisations behind collection schemes in 22 European countries in an …
Joe Fay, 08 Jan 2010