Articles about European Commission

Planetoid crashes into primordial Earth

European Commission decides it won't have a science advisor after Greenpeace pressure

Yesterday seemed a great day for science in Europe, with the European Space Agency setting down its Philae lander on comet 67P - but even as this took place the European Commission quietly sent a rather different signal, as it hit "delete" on the role of its Chief Scientific Advisor. Since 2012 the EC Chief Scientific Advisor ( …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Nov 2014
Oracle's Iron Man 2 ad

European Commission okays Oracle's MICROS gobble

Oracle's US$5bn purchase of integrated hardware-maker MICROS has been approved by the European Commission. News of the approval, which landed last Friday, doesn't mean the deal is over the line: Oracle is still reminding shareholders that its offer expires on Tuesday, September 2nd. If Oracle does gobble MICROS it will give the …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Sep 2014
management regulation1

Euro Commission drags Belgium to court over telco regulator's independence

The European Commission is taking Belgium to court for not allowing its telco regulator enough independence. Under EU law, national telecoms regulators must be able to act independently without state interference, but Belgium has a law allowing the Belgian Council of Ministers to suspend the Belgian Institute for Postal Services …
Jennifer Baker, 16 Oct 2014

Boffins urge European Commission to reboot electric brain project

More than four hundred scientists have signed an open letter asking the European Commission to rethink the Human Brain Project (HBP), a €1.19b attempt to build a computer capable of simulating the human brain. The HBP has been pitched as beneficial for neuroscience and computer science. The former discipline gets a whole new …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Jul 2014
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
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
Steve Ballmer and Stephen Elop

European Commission gives Microsoft/Nokia merger the green light

The European Commission has approved the merger between Microsoft and Nokia, clearing the way for Redmond to take over the Finnish firm's smartphone business. The Commission published its findings in a press release on Wednesday, saying that it did not believe Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia raised any concerns under EU …
Neil McAllister, 04 Dec 2013

European Commish asks for rivals' moans about Booking.com

Rivals of Booking.com have been invited to have their say over alleged anti-competitive contracts imposed by the online travel agent. Following complaints in France, Italy and Sweden, the European Commission is co-ordinating a public consultation on the matter. Booking.com imposes so-called “parity clauses” in contracts with …
Jennifer Baker, 16 Dec 2014
European Union Flag

European Commission plans net neutrality push

The European Commission (EC) has proposed to enshrine net neutrality in its statute books, with President José Manuel Durão Barroso signalling his intention to adopt the “connected continent” agenda proposed by commissioner for the Digital Agenda and veep Neelie Kroes. Barrosso yesterday delivered the European Union's State of …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Sep 2013
shutterstock_copyright_theft_burn_sidey must credit and link to shutterstock

One European copyright law-to-rule-them-all? EU launches review

The European Commission is seeking industry views on whether to completely harmonise copyright laws across the EU. The Commission has launched a consultation in an effort to gather views on how to modernise the existing EU copyright framework (36-page/223KB PDF). Respondents are being asked for views on matters ranging from the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 Dec 2013
The Register breaking news

EU competition inspectors RAID European telcos

The competition wing of the European Commission confirmed today that it was investigating alleged antitrust practices among a number of telecoms giants operating in the 28-member-state bloc. It declined to comment on which countries and companies were subjected to unannounced inspections on their premises at the beginning of …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Apple goes to European Commission with complaint about Motorola

Apple has lodged a complaint with the European Commission over Motorola Mobility's use of standards-essential patents in lawsuits with the fruity firm. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late on Friday, Motorola said that it had received a letter from the EC informing it of the complaint from Apple earlier …
European Union Flag

European Commission: Cloud will save us from economic doom

The European Commission is to create cloud computing standards across its 27 member states to spur customer adoption and boost local economies. Cloud has already been hyped to death in the commercial world and now the EC is adding to the marketing bluster. It said in its new strategy document – "Unleashing the potential of …
Paul Kunert, 27 Sep 2012

DoJ's extra-territorial data demands: now Ireland is baulking

The American Department of Justice's legal spat with Microsoft keeps sending out wider ripples, with Ireland now unhappy with the DoJ's blasé attitude about its jurisdictional reach. Microsoft has long been resisting a court order that decided e-mails are “business records” and demanding that Redmond pry open some servers in …
Members of Poland's Ruch Palikota protest their country's signing of ACTA

Euro Commission abandons ACTA court request

ACTA is completely, finally, no-turning-back dead-and-buried in Europe, with the European Commission admitting that there is “no realistic chance” of the treaty being adopted in Europe. The frank assessment of the future of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement was made as the EC withdrew its request that the European Court of …
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
The European flag

Europe may ask Herr Google: Would you, er, snap off your search engine? Pretty please

The European Parliament will reportedly consider pressuring, say, ad giant Google to snap off its search engine and move it away from its biz operations. A draft motion, seen by the Financial Times, calls for the "unbundling [of] search engines from other commercial services." The motion has the support of the two main blocs in …
Iain Thomson, 21 Nov 2014

China gets free pass from EU commish as telco probe dropped

The EU has decided to make friends with China despite earlier worries that it may have been giving an illegal boost to telco manufacturers. On Monday, the European Commission decided to drop an investigation into alleged illegal subsidies and dumping of telecommunications equipment by Chinese exporters. Following “intensive …
Jennifer Baker, 20 Oct 2014
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
Euro notes

Euro probe headed for Amazon's tax back door

A 2003 Luxembourgeois tax ruling used by Amazon.com to structure its European affairs looks likely to become the subject of a European Commission probe, according to the Financial Times. The Pink 'Un's paywalled report suggests Luxembourg's decision to limit the amount of Amazonian profits it would tax may have constituted an …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Oct 2014

Want the EU to work on making cloud snoop-proof? Speak up, my good 'stakeholder'

The public has less than two weeks to respond to one of the vaguest European Commission consultations ever… but one that will decide where the Commish spends its money. The deadline for submissions to the public consultation on Cloud Computing and Software has been extended by a week to 17 October. But unlike many consultations …
Jennifer Baker, 06 Oct 2014
flag.Germany

Steelie Neelie orders Germany to sort out its mobe charges – or EU will go FULL LEGAL

Steelie Neelie has warned Germany – for the fifth time – that if it doesn’t sort out its proposals on mobile termination rates, the Commission will take legal action. The European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda may be on her way out, but Neelie Kroes has seemingly reached the end of her tether with the German telecoms …
Jennifer Baker, 21 Oct 2014

New Euro digi chief says he WILL consider an EU-wide copyright law

Europe’s new digi chief Gunther H. Oettinger has said that he could have a first draft of new copyright laws within six months. Oetti made the comments to the German Bundestag committee on the Digital Agenda on Tuesday, but with the German barely through the door of his new office at the European Commission – he officially …
Jennifer Baker, 06 Nov 2014
Microsoft-themed Monopoly board

Microsoft kills its Euro pane in the a**: The 'would you prefer Chrome?' window

Fresh Windows PCs in Europe will no longer offer to install Google Chrome and other web browsers rivaling Internet Explorer. That change, quietly announced on a Microsoft support website, marks the end of a European Commission-mandated period during which users had to be offered a choice in web browser when they installed …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Dec 2014

Stop selling spyware to despotic regimes, beg MEPs

The EU’s laws on snooping technology exports must be updated in light of the Regin breach, according to some MEPs. It has recently been been revealed that Regin super-spyware was used to successfully hack Belgian telco company Belgacom as far back as 2010. Belgacom counts the European Parliament and the European Commission among …
Jennifer Baker, 27 Nov 2014
Lufthansa plane

Europe rubber-stamps IBM Lufthansa outsourcing gig

The European Commission has given IBM the green light to splash $1.25bn on Lufthansa's tech infrastructure wing. As part of the deal, which includes an outsourcing agreement, the airline will split its subsidiary, Lufthansa Systems, into three companies, offloading the infrastructure division to Big Blue. "The Commission …
Kat Hall, 18 Dec 2014
The European flag

Dawn raids on Orange over TROMBONING allegations were fine, rules EU court

The European Commission was perfectly entitled to conduct dawn raids against Orange, according to the EU General Court. The inspections took place between 9 and 13 July 2013 on four of Orange’s premises as part of an investigation into allegations that Orange was abusing a dominant market position. However, Orange cried foul and …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Nov 2014

Is new EU digi chief H-dot Oettinger starting a war with his boss?

Things not to do in the first week of your new job: slag off the boss. It seems this memo bypassed the EU's new digital chief Gunther H-dot Oettinger. The new European Commission structure is different to the one Oetti is used to. The new Commission, which took over on 1 November, has seven senior vice presidents in charge of 20 …
Jennifer Baker, 06 Nov 2014
The Register breaking news

European Parliament prepares for crucial ACTA vote

On Thursday the European Parliament's International Trade Committee will vote on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and give its recommendations on whether or not to recommend the controversial treaty. Some votes are already pretty clear: Scottish MEP David Martin's opposition, for example is plain. He is serving as …
Iain Thomson, 21 Jun 2012

Commish: Stop playing that Spanish jazz, Orange. Wait until we’ve done our homework

Orange’s plans to take over Jazztel in Spain could hit a wall as the European Commission begin an investigation to determine if the merger is in line with EU competition law. Both Orange and Jazztel operate fixed telco networks in Spain and the planned takeover would reduce the number of nationwide providers from four to three …
Jennifer Baker, 04 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
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European Commission to cough €12m for software badnesses

The European Commission must pay software firm Systran €12 million in damages for infringing its copyright when it asked other companies to work on Systran's software, the EU's General Court has ruled. Systran created a specially adapted version of its Systran-Unix machine translation software for the Commission, calling it EC- …
OUT-LAW.COM, 18 Dec 2010

EU operators PLEAD for MERCY, may get roaming rates cut ‘reprieve’

Policymakers are set to propose “no change” in wholesale telecoms roaming rates in the EU as part of a review of the system in 2016, according to a report. The Financial Times said it had seen a draft proposal from the Italian presidency of the European Council which indicated “long-fought proposals on roaming and spectrum …
OUT-LAW.COM, 25 Sep 2014
The Register breaking news

Commission to Euro biz: Show us your breaches

EU businesses could be required to flag up any breaches of their "network and information systems" under a new "strategic" action plan to combat cyber security problems across the trading bloc. The European Commission is planning to draft new laws on cyber security that could introduce a requirement for businesses to report when …
OUT-LAW.COM, 25 Jul 2012
The Register breaking news

European Commission details Five Year Security Plan

The European Commission has revealed some more details of how it intends to get the Stockholm Programme to strengthen security enacted into law by 2014. The Commission promises to strengthen data protection law, make ID theft a criminal offence, introduce new hacking offences, improve the rights of those accused of crimes, make …
John Oates, 20 Apr 2010
Facebook WhatsApp

EU blesses $19bn Facebook-Whatsapp marriage

The European Commission has approved the merger of Facebook and WhatsApp, ruling they are not close competitors – despite both offering free online messaging. After sending out lengthy questionnaires to the pair's rivals, the commission gave the nod to the proposed deal. Competition chief Joaquín Almunia explained: “While …
Jennifer Baker, 03 Oct 2014
The Register breaking news

European Parliament votes to fight ITU internet power grab

The European Parliament has passed a resolution protesting plans by the International Telecommunications Union to seize regulatory control of the internet. "[The European Parliament] believes that the ITU, or any other single, centralised international institution, is not the appropriate body to assert regulatory authority over …
Iain Thomson, 24 Nov 2012
Micro SIM Card

Mobile SIM chip-makers 'will be fined by EU' for price-fixing, say sources

EU antitrust regulators are set to fine Samsung, Philips, Infineon Technologies and other tech firms for fixing the prices of chips used in mobile SIM cards, familiar folks whispered to Reuters. The European Commission kicked off a probe of the chips used in telly smart cards, passports, mobiles and ATM cards all the way back in …

Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU

Apple’s "free" apps are "free" no more, thanks to the EU. Instead of clicking a button labelled with the word, fanbois must now select a button marked “get”. The move appears to be in response to warnings from the European Commission that the “free” label is misleading when games contain in-app purchases and could lead to legal …
Jennifer Baker, 20 Nov 2014

If the COMMISH says block that email account, BLOCK IT!

Europe’s General Court has said the European Commission was right to fine a Czech company for not blocking access to an email account during an antitrust case. In November 2009, the Commish ordered Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH) to block email accounts of key personnel by changing the password to one known only to …
Jennifer Baker, 02 Dec 2014

Knives out for new EU rules forcing govts to reveal hacker attacks

Talks began on a new computer security law for Europe on Tuesday night. National ministers, the European Commission and MEPs got together for the first time in an attempt to nail down the wording in the proposed Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive. When it was proposed by the commission early last year, the draft …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Oct 2014
European Union Flag

Ex-EU digi supremo Steelie Neelie's net neutrality bid in tatters?

Former EU digital tzar Neelie Kroes’ net neutrality plans for the Continent may be chucked out by national governments. The latest draft of a law prepared by Italy for national delegations to mull over – a copy of which was leaked by digital rights group EDRi here [PDF] – suggests replacing a definition of net neutrality with a …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Nov 2014

Internet gossip has NOWT to do with data protection, EU Commish

Comment Europe’s new data chief has taken a leaf out of fellow European Commissioner “H Dot” Oettinger’s book, delivering a cast-iron “no shit, Sherlock” statement about things people write online. The EU’s new Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova was speaking ahead of a meeting of all the EU’s justice ministers about data protection …
Jennifer Baker, 04 Dec 2014
Dr Dre Beats Solo

Forgot About Dre? Not us. Euro bods give nod to Apple and Beats deal

The European Commission has given its official blessing to the $3bn acquisition by Apple of headphone manufacturer Beats. After considering whether the link-up fitted in with merger regulations, the antitrust regulators decided the two firms were sufficiently different that there was no concerns about competition. In a …
Jasper Hamill, 28 Jul 2014
The European flag

MEPs want 'unbiased search', whatever that is – they're not sure either

Remember that vote in the European Parliament last week to “break up Google”? Well it’s not just about breaking up the American search giant. A closer reading between the lines of the non-legislative resolution reveals sideswipes at Amazon and eBay as well. The resolution – which was approved by by 458 to 173 last Thursday – …
Jennifer Baker, 02 Dec 2014

Oi, lobbyists. Cough up your details – EU's new first vice-president

Tech lobbyists trying to water down EU laws may soon find themselves in the spotlight, if new EU Commission supremo Frans Timmermans gets his way. The Dutch politician – who is set to take up the EC's number two spot next month with the official title “First Vice-President in charge of Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional …
Jennifer Baker, 07 Oct 2014

One digi market to RULE 'em all: Get with the net neutrality plan, guys, moans EU digi-veep

Europe’s new digi chief has told telecoms ministers to get their act together and deliver strong net neutrality rules. Andrus Ansip, European Commission veep for all things digital, said he had “no illusions” that this would be easy, adding: “I really hope that an agreement can be reached over the coming months. Otherwise, I …
Jennifer Baker, 08 Dec 2014

Let's vote on breaking up Google, say MEPs with NO power to do any such thing

On Thursday this week, the European Parliament will vote on whether to break up ad and internet giants such as Google ... even though it has no real power to do so. The so-called Resolution on the Digital Single Market, proposed by German MEP Andreas Schwab and his Spanish colleague Ramon Tremosa, seeks to unbundle search …
Jennifer Baker, 24 Nov 2014
The Register breaking news

European Parliament votes against ACTA legal review

The European Parliament (EP) has voted overwhelmingly not to refer the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) for judicial review, but instead to strike while the iron is hot and vote on the treaty this June. The EP's International Trade Committee voted 21 to five against referring the controversial treaty to …
Iain Thomson, 27 Mar 2012
European Union Flag

Welcome your new digital.. commissioners? Likely pair could fill Steelie Neelie's shoes

It’s going to take two men to do one woman’s job at the new European Commission. The new line-up was announced on Wednesday following weeks of speculation and horse-trading of the sort that usually accompanies football transfers. President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker has decided to create two Digital roles to replace the current …
Jennifer Baker, 11 Sep 2014