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 strategy1

Console makers game the EU Commission to avoid energy-use law

Games console manufacturers have agreed a deal with the European Commission that lets them off the hook for meaningful rules on energy efficiency. Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony have persuaded the Commish not to include their products in the EcoDesign Directive and to instead rely on a voluntary agreement. Although the Commission …
Jennifer Baker, 27 Apr 2015
Fight sticker

'Oh great Commission, save us from the French' pleads Uber

Uber has filed three official complaints with the European Commission, a spokesman confirmed. The two latest actions are against France and Spain, where the ride-sharing service is banned. The third complaint was also made against France last year. The Commish refused to go into detail about the content of the complaints, simply …
Jennifer Baker, 02 Apr 2015
"Image from the glassbrain project, neuroscapelab.com, UCSF

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
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
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
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
denmark

Denmark tops European tech table, two other Scandis right behind

The European Commission has published its league table of digital countries and the Best of Europe’s tech world is, you guessed it, Denmark! Sweden, the Netherlands and Finland make up the remaining top four, proving that Scandis really do do IT better. But in a not-too-shabby performance, the UK is jostling for attention at …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Feb 2015
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 PURGE on hated mobile roaming charges

After 12 hours of tense negotiations, EU negotiators agreed at 3am on Tuesday to impose a minimal cap on mobile phone roaming charges for calls, texts and data. The so-called Telecoms Package has been in trouble for months, but – acting on behalf of EU member states – the rotating EU Council Presidency, under Latvia, pushed hard …
Jennifer Baker, 30 Jun 2015

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
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End well: this won't. European Copyright Society wants one EU law to rule 'em all

Copyright laws in every EU country should be the same, the European Copyright Society (ECS) has said. In a letter to the European Commission's digital commissioner Günther Oettinger (4-page 499KB PDF), the academic think tank on copyright said "actual Union-wide unification … of copyright" as opposed to simply further …
OUT-LAW.COM, 05 Jan 2015
Gavel

Nokia files for EU permission to buy Alcatel-Lucent

The European Commission has set 27 July as D-Day for its decision on the Nokia/Alcatel-Lucent takeover. The €15.6 billion deal, first announced in April, was waved through US approval by the Department of Justice last week. The European Commission's Website doesn't say much, but does at least give us the EC's anticipated …

European data law: UK.gov TRASHES 'unambiguous consent' plans

The UK government has raised objections to current EU proposals that would require businesses seeking to rely on "consent" as the lawful basis for processing personal data to ensure that that consent has been unambiguously given "for one or more specific purposes". It said those proposals are "unjustified" and called on EU law …
OUT-LAW.COM, 29 Dec 2014
willy wonka oompa loompa

Generous EU Commish gives Google SIX MORE WEEKS to respond to antitrust charges

Google has an extra six weeks to prepare its defence against European Commission charges that it abused its dominant position in the search engine market. Google spokesman Al Verney said: “We have asked the European Commission for additional time to review the documents they've provided us. The Commission has extended our …
Jennifer Baker, 30 Jun 2015
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
Handcuffs

Dutch MEP whacks Hacking Team over embargo-busting

The Hacking Team fallout continues, with Dutch member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake asking for a European Commission (EC) investigation into the outfit. Schaake wants the EC to decide whether Hacking Team broke various embargo rules by selling products to repressive regimes (she name-checks Azerbaijan, Bahrain, …
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 …

EU reduces science cuts as Juncker finds €500m down back of sofa

Fears that European Union funding for scientific research would be drastically cut have been somewhat allayed. European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker had wanted to siphon off money from the €80bn Horizon 2020 research programme to the European Fund for Strategic Investments, but following pressure from MEPs and …
Jennifer Baker, 29 May 2015
germany

Euro Commish OKs €3bn German broadband aid scheme

Germany has got the green light from the European Commission to push ahead with a publicly funded scheme to roll out next generation access (NGA) broadband networks. The €3bn project is to provide high speed internet access throughout the country, including in rural areas. “This aid scheme will make faster broadband services …
Jennifer Baker, 16 Jun 2015
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
sir_humphrey_screengrab_648

Online gov services are mostly time-wasting duplicates, says EU

Sick of repeating the same information every time you need the authorities to help you out? So is the European Commission. According to a new study on eGovernment services, users are still asked to fill in forms with information already available to bureaucrats more than half the time. And if you’re on the move it gets worse – …
Jennifer Baker, 24 Jun 2015
spies_648

Oi, Commish. Get off the fence over French snooping law, says MEP

Dutch MEP Sophie In’t Veld has accused the European Commission of fence-sitting over France’s new “Patriot Act”. Speaking to the European Parliament’s justice committee about the controversial Charteur des Snoopeurs, the Commission's director for criminal justice, Francisco Morillo, said that the Commish never comments on …
Jennifer Baker, 03 Jul 2015
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 …

'Nothing to see here', says ECJ as Safe Harbour opinion delayed

Sources at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) have denied there's a conspiracy behind the publication delay of a crucial opinion in the Europe v Facebook case. The ECJ attorney general (AG) was due to give his opinion on 24 June, a decision which could potentially bring down the Safe Harbour dataflow agreement between the EU …
Jennifer Baker, 12 Jun 2015

EU wants a panel o'boffins to replace solo science advisor

Following widespread criticism of his decision to axe the role of chief science advisor (CSA), European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has announced that a seven-strong panel will be set up to take its place. Last November, former CSA Anne Glover revealed that her job – which has existed since 2012 – was scrapped …
Jennifer Baker, 14 May 2015
Data Centre

EU steps (marginally, tentatively) towards new data protection law

European ministers are expected to reach some sort of agreement on new data protection laws later today, according to reports and sources, although discussions before a final decision are set to continue for months yet. Justice and Home Affairs ministers from across the EU are meeting Monday in Luxembourg and the main item on …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Jun 2015
Slow downloads

MEPs: Oi, Commish, where'd you get these broadband figures from?

MEPs have told the European Commission that it needs to do more to ensure broadband roll-out across the continent - and to get its facts straight. In a resolution approved on Tuesday, the European Parliament said that former state-owned monopolies have a “staggering market share of over 80 per cent” of the next-generation …
Jennifer Baker, 11 Mar 2015
management regulation1

UK lawsuit against Google delayed by EU antitrust investigation

A lawsuit against Google over alleged search manipulation has been adjourned, after a judge ruled it was "inappropriate" to hold the trial while the European Commission was pursuing its anti-trust case. Court News UK is reporting that a High Court trial "between Infederation, the operator of Foundem.co.uk, and Google, has been …

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 …

EU Commish is rather pleased German BND and NSA thought it worth spying on

According to local media reports Thursday, German intelligence agency BND (the Bundesnachrichtendienst) has helped the US National Security Agency (NSA) spy on the European Commission and French authorities since 2008. German officials themselves were not targeted because of a NSA-BND deal signed in 2002. The revelations have …
Jennifer Baker, 01 May 2015
The EcoBot's artificial heart. Pic: Bristol Robotics Laboratory

MEPs: Oi, Juncker! Hands off our science and research dosh

MEPs are pushing back against European Commission plans to slash science funding. Commish president Jean-Claude Juncker wanted to remove €2.7 billion from the €80bn budget of Horizon 2020, but according to science groups including the European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences, the League of European Research …
Jennifer Baker, 23 Apr 2015
It's upgrade time again folks...

Lonely Pirate cheers on Big Copyright-bashing EU commissars

The EU's sole Pirate Party MEP has welcomed rumours that the European Commission is to get tough with big Hollywood firms’ geo-blocking activities. According to a Bloomberg report the EU's competition chief, Margrethe Vestager, is set to send a so-called “statement of objections” to US movie studios 20th Century Fox, Warner …
Jennifer Baker, 04 Jun 2015
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

Euro THERMONUCLEAR REACTOR PROJECT is in TROUBLE

The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project is in hot water with the European Parliament for failing to manage EU funds properly. The Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee MEPs this week advised against approving 2013 spending by ITER personnel due to delayed disbursements and growing budget costs. Although …
Jennifer Baker, 27 Mar 2015

Boffins bothered by EU prez's proposed science funding cut

Lobby group Science Europe has added its voice to the growing outcry over European Commission plans to do away with a large chunk of scientific research funding. In a statement on Thursday night, the group said that proposals to remove €2.7bn from the €80bn budget of nano-science project Horizon 2020 were a mistake and would …
Jennifer Baker, 20 Mar 2015

Get off Facebook if you value your privacy, EU commish tells court

If you don’t want your personal info pored over by the US authorities, close your Facebook account – such is the reassuring advice given by the European Commission to the European Court of Justice. Judges yesterday grilled the Commish legal service in a case that could topple the 15-year-old EU-US data-sharing agreement known as …
Jennifer Baker, 26 Mar 2015
The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution

New EU security strategy: Sod cyber terrorism, BAN ENCRYPTION

“It is unacceptable that a Kalashnikov can be bought easily on the internet,”* thundered European Commission number two Frans Timmermans yesterday, as he presented the Commission’s plans to combat terrorism. So what’s he going to do about it? That’s right, hold a consultation. The much-trumpeted new EU Security Strategy is …
Jennifer Baker, 29 Apr 2015
Google HQ logo. Pic: Bob Dormon

Hurry up and just SLAP GOOGLE, MEPs fume at EU commish

The European Parliament took the EU’s executive arm to task on Tuesday for failing to give Google a good kicking resolve the ongoing investigation into Google’s alleged abuse of dominance in the search market. In a statement endorsed by members of the European Parliament (MEPs), it welcomed “further investigations into Google's …
Jennifer Baker, 11 Mar 2015

Have YOU got Equation NSAware in your drives? Meh, not really our concern, says EU

After Kaspersky revealed the so-called Equation Group’s HDD-snooping malware, the European Commission says it's “up to member states to take appropriate measures” to deal with cyber-badness on their patches. With the spyware closely resembling Stuxnet, Kaspersky researchers have concluded that the US National Security Agency is …
Jennifer Baker, 19 Feb 2015

EU parliament pushes for Dodd-Frank style conflict mineral laws

European electronics manufacturers will have to double check where the minerals in their products come from in future, according to a draft EU law approved by MEPs on Wednesday. The law, adopted by 402 votes to 118, is part of an effort to clamp down on so-called conflict minerals, so that European companies and consumers do not …
Jennifer Baker, 20 May 2015
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
Qualcomm

EU to Qualcomm competitors: So how's that competition going?

Qualcomm may have settled its antitrust issues in China but EU regulators are still scrutinizing the chipmaker closely, a new report claims. The European Commission has sent questionnaires to Qualcomm competitors in Europe, Reuters reports, asking them to weigh in on the US firm's business practices. Among the roughly 40 items …
Neil McAllister, 09 May 2015
Columns of coins in the cloud

March deadline nears for FAT, JUICY Euro Commish cloud service contracts

EU cloud service companies have until 5 March this year to bid for lucrative EU Commission contracts. The Commish tender call aims to secure about 2,500 virtual machines and 2,500TB of storage for up to four years. The plan is to enable EU institutions to use cloud-based IT services before the end of 2015. As yet, there is no …
Jennifer Baker, 13 Jan 2015

EU anti-trust watchdog ponders TeliaSonera/Telenor merger

The European Commission is worried that a proposed merger between TeliaSonera and Telenor would be bad for consumers, and is now pondering whether to approve the deal. Both companies provide telecoms services in several European countries, but in Denmark the merged entity would face little competition, leaving the public with a …
Jennifer Baker, 09 Apr 2015

Angry Austrian could turn Europe against the US - thanks to data

In a David versus Goliath battle, an Austrian law student may topple the biggest EU-US data sharing deal when he gets his day in court in a couple of weeks' time. Max Schrems, who set up the Europe v Facebook group, alleges that Facebook violated the so-called safe harbour agreement which protects EU citizens' privacy. He says …
Jennifer Baker, 13 Mar 2015