Articles about European Commission

Google loses Android friends with Pixel exclusivity

Google’s decision to keep premium Android features for itself attracted surprisingly little comment last year - but the dangers are heaving into view. By declaring war on its most important customers, Google risks losing a degree of control over Android, further fragmenting the platform. Platform providers like Google have …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Jan 2017
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Facebook pimping for politicos despite fake news 'purge'

National elections in the UK and US, and Britain's 2016 referendum on membership of the EU demonstrated the growing power of social media to swing views and win votes. Twitter gets a lot of attention due to its use by journalists and politicians – not least president-elect Donald Trump – and its relative openness making it …
SA Mathieson, 17 Jan 2017

Exascale HPC project pours Euro gravy into Mont-Blanc

The European Commission's multi-phase, super-dupe-compute project Mont-Blanc is pouring more euro gravy into developing an army of ARM SoC compute nodes. It has picked Atos's Bull organisation to build an exascale-class compute node using Cavium's Thunder X2 64-bit ARMv8-A server processor SoC (System-on-Chip). The Mont-Blanc …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jan 2017
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EU policy makers consider FRAND licensing of machine-generated data

EU policy makers are considering introducing a new licensing regime for anonymised "machine-generated data". It is one of the options the European Commission said could be introduced to facilitate greater access to the ever-growing volumes of data generated by "computer processes, applications or services, or by sensors …
OUT-LAW.COM, 13 Jan 2017
Cookie Monster

EU tosses Europe's cookies... popups

The EU’s most famous contribution to the internet era could be snuffed out soon, and few will mourn it. As expected, Brussels will no longer mandate that websites receive the user’s consent for placing cookies on their device. Scrapping the consent form is one of the options floated in the European Commission new public …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Jan 2017

Why the UK is unlikely to get an adequacy determination post Brexit

Opinion This article adds two reasons to why I think a post-Brexit UK is very unlikely to offer an adequate level of protection in terms of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). One reason relates to recent comments made by Prime Minister Theresa May about human rights. The other relates to the non-compliance of the national …

Apple's CEO Tim Cook declines invitation to discuss EU tax ruling with Irish parliament

Tim Cook has turned down an invitation to appear before the Irish parliamentary finance committee to offer his thoughts on the EU's ruling over Apple's tax affairs with the nation. Last year, the European Commission ruled that tax arrangements between Ireland and Apple were in breach of the EU's state aid laws. It said the …
Qualcomm

Qualcomm faces $853m fine for alleged antitrust violation

US chip giant Qualcomm is to face a fine of $853m (£696m) for alleged antitrust violations by South Korea's top regulator. The Korea Fair Trade Commission today reached the decision after a three-year probe of Qualcomm, finding that some of the company’s business practices have violated Korean competition law. The fine is the …
Kat Hall, 28 Dec 2016
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Did EU ruling invalidate the UK's bonkers Snoopers' Charter?

Analysis Yesterday's judgment from the EU Court of Justice offered hope to many of those critical of the wider culture of communications data retention, but what does this mean for the UK's Investigatory Powers Act? Nothing immediately, of course. The original case will now go back to the UK's Court of Appeal, from whence it initially …

EU accuses Facebook of providing incorrect info on WhatsApp buy

Facebook has been accused of providing incorrect information regarding its $22bn (£17.8bn) acquisition of WhatsApp to the European Commission. The commission today sent a Statement of Objections to Facebook alleging the company provided incorrect or misleading information during its investigation into the 2014 merger. It …
Kat Hall, 20 Dec 2016

Screw EU! Apple to fight back over €13bn tax bill

Apple and the Irish government are to appeal a European Union ruling that it should pay up to €13bn (£11bn) in back taxes in Ireland – in a decision that will surprise no one. Back in August the European Commission ruled that tax arrangements between Ireland and Apple were in breach of the EU's state aid laws, and said that …
Kat Hall, 19 Dec 2016
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Fox's meal Sky ready to smother Europe with foreign language OTT content

The OnPrime service – which emerged this week from Sky in the UK and Germany, offering a number of foreign language packages for visitors - seems to be built around the end to end over-the-top* (OTT) service which Sky has been investing in for years from US firm 1Mainstream. It put $2m into the company in 2013 and another $5m …
Faultline, 16 Dec 2016
Johnny Cab

New US rules on 'vehicle-to-vehicle' communications under consultation

Car manufacturers active in the US market will need to ensure new models are fitted with technology that allows those vehicles to "talk" to other vehicles from as early as 2021, under new government proposals. The US Department of Transportation (DoT) has opened a 90-day consultation on a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety …
OUT-LAW.COM, 16 Dec 2016
Galileo

Galileo! Galileo! Galileo! Galileo! Galileo fit to go: Europe's GPS-like network switches on

After a long and much-delayed 17-year gestation, Europe's answer to America's GPS system has been switched on. The Galileo network will offer a free service with an accuracy of one metre, and can pinpoint locations down to a few centimetres for paying customers. The service has 18 satellites in orbit, with 30 projected by 2020 …
Iain Thomson, 15 Dec 2016

Data use rules set to be loosened under new EU e-Privacy laws - report

New EU laws set to be proposed in January will give telecoms companies more options over how they might use data they gather that relates to customers' communications, according to a media report. Telecoms companies can currently process "traffic" or location data if it has been anonymised or if they have consent to do so from …
OUT-LAW.COM, 15 Dec 2016
Old school emissions testing at the EU's Joint Research Centre

Europe to launch legal action against countries over diesel emissions cheating

The European Commission has begun legal action against seven member states over emissions cheating in the "dieselgate" scandal. The Commission is frustrated with how national authorities have handled the issue, which began last year when Volkswagen admitted to emissions 'discrepancies' in engines fitted in 11 million vehicles …
OUT-LAW.COM, 13 Dec 2016
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EU dings Sony, Panasonic over rechargeable battery cartel

The great battery scam has reached a milestone in Europe. The European Commission this week imposed a settlement fine of €166m on a trio of Japanese manufacturers for operating the price-fixing cartel. Sony, Panasonic and Sanyo used an increase in the price of cobalt as a pretext to collude to fix prices, Competition …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Dec 2016

Microsoft says LinkedIn will make Trump, Brexit, voters feel great again

Microsoft says buying LinkedIn will help to address the middle class discontent that saw Britain vote to leave the European Union and America vote to leave politics as we know it behind by electing Donald Trump. The company has expressed that sentiment in its post announcing the European Commission's approval of its …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Dec 2016
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Axel Springer boss defends Facebook in fake news controversy

One of Silicon Valley’s harshest and most powerful critics has leapt to its defence over the “fake news” controversy. Mathias Döpfner, CEO of the German giant publishing group Axel Springer, says Facebook must retain the liability privileges it enjoys as an internet platform - rather than be reclassified as a publisher. …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Dec 2016

Brexit means Brexit: What the heck does that mean...

Apparently the Brexit result has caused some IT leaders to look at repatriating data to the UK to “comply with data protection laws and especially GDPR”. But wait a minute – this seems to be more about a lack of understanding of data protection laws. Again. Earlier this year I wrote about emotional knee-jerk reactionism being …
Frank Jennings, 02 Dec 2016

European Council agrees to remove geoblocking

The Council of Ministers has agreed on draft regulation to ban unjustified geoblocking in an attempt to remove barriers to e-commerce across the European Union. Geoblocking is the practice of preventing consumers in one country from accessing products and services via a website based in another country. The draft regulation …
OUT-LAW.COM, 01 Dec 2016
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Ofcom to force a legal separation of Openreach

The regulator Ofcom has decided to force a legal separation of Openreach from BT, after the former broadband monopoly failed to offer voluntary proposals that addressed its competition concerns. Ofcom fell short of recommending a full structural separation earlier this year, citing pensions and properties costs as the main …
Kat Hall, 29 Nov 2016
Sharon White, new head of Ofcom, former Second Perm Sec at the Treasury

Surprise, surprise. BT the only Universal Service Obligation provider in town

BT is the only player to offer its services for universal coverage of 10Mbps by 2020, but has also placed a number of conditions on doing so, head of comms regulator Ofcom Sharon White has said. Speaking at the Culture, Media and Sports Committee hearing, White said BT has expressed interest in delivering the government's …
Kat Hall, 23 Nov 2016
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Microsoft promises 'equal access' to LinkedIn to get EC green light for acquisition

Microsoft is offering to crack open access to LinkedIn to secure European Commission approval for its $26bn purchase of the social network for suits. The software giant is reportedly offering competition regulators the continued prospect of open access to LinkedIn’s APIs as well as “allowing” OEMs to install LinkedIn on their …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Nov 2016
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Contracts trading personal data for digital content: Rights to remedy, redress required

Opinion Consumers should not have had to actively provide their personal data in return for digital content to be supplied to them to benefit from consumer protection rights relating to the supply of that content, a committee of MEPs has said. A new directive on contracts for the supply of digital content was proposed by the European …
OUT-LAW.COM, 18 Nov 2016

Microsoft sweet-talks EC antitrust bods over LinkedIn buy

Microsoft has offered "concessions" in return for letting its $26bn dollar acquisition of LinkedIn move ahead, according to officials from the European Commission. The officials refused to provide any further details over what those concessions were, however. The Commission is expected to decide whether to let the purchase of …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Nov 2016

European Commission dangles €374m for low-power exascale research

Europe is trying to plant a flag in future chip development, slinging money towards low-power server silicon. Through its Horizon 2020 research collaboration, the European Commission pus published a solicitation for the project. There's nearly €375m on offer for the project, which looks to push more digitisation “outside the …
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Google: If you think we're bad, you should take a look at Apple

Google has responded to the European Commission's complaint that it is abusing its market power with the Android mobile phone operating system by griping that Microsoft and Apple are worse. The ad and search giant points out in a neat animated GIF that of the 39 bundled apps on an iPhone, all 39 of them stem from Apple; on a …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Nov 2016

Virgin goes 4G with zero-rated Facebook and WhatsApp

Virgin Mobile has finally upgraded its network to 4G – with an eye-catching deal: Facebook and WhatsApp data usage won't count against your monthly data bundle, a practice known as zero rating. With zero rating, no money changes hands between the network and the service, and in the USA, the practice has proved hugely popular. …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Nov 2016
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We're great, you don't understand competition law, Google tells Europe

Google has sought to blunt the European Commission’s three-prong inquiry into its business practices – by claiming the Eurocrats don’t understand antitrust law. Writing on Google’s corporate blog, senior VP and general counsel Kent Walker disclosed that Google has responded to the Commission’s shopping and advertising concerns …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Nov 2016
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EU €120m Wi-Fi spend explained, but not excused

Opinion The deputy head of "Unit broadband" - a section of the European Commission dealing with “investment in high-capacity networks” - Herve Dupuy, flew into London to attend the Wi-Fi Now conference last week. He ran headlong into a combination of fulsome praise and dramatic criticism. The first was from the founder and owner of …
Faultline, 01 Nov 2016
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EU announces common corporate tax plan

The European Commission has announced plans to overhaul corporate tax across the single market, including the introduction of a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB). A CCCTB would make it easier and cheaper to do business in the EU, and act as a "powerful tool against tax avoidance", the Commission said. The …
OUT-LAW.COM, 28 Oct 2016
European laser rat fence pilot

LASER RAT FENCE wins €1.7m European Commission funds

The European Commission (EC) has found €1,777,985 for research on rat-repelling laser fences. The thinking behind the “LIFE Laser Fence” is that birds and rodents chew on plenty of crops, which costs farmers money and reduce productivity. Plenty of farmers fight back using poisons which do the job, but can also prove fatal for …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Oct 2016
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Euro Central Bank backs money laundering rules for virtual currency exchanges

Plans to bring virtual currency exchanges and digital wallet providers within the scope of EU anti-money laundering (AML) legislation have been backed by the European Central Bank (ECB). he ECB said it "strongly supports" the proposals to extend the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD4), noting that "terrorists and …
OUT-LAW.COM, 25 Oct 2016

Government Digital Service under review after rural payments cockup

Whitehall's spending watchdog is to review the achievements of the Government Digital Service in light of the Rural Payments Agency's IT disaster. In an update note on the Rural Payments Agency's Common Agricultural Policy IT system on Monday, the National Audit Office said it will shortly be undertaking a review of GDS's …
Kat Hall, 24 Oct 2016

EU legal eagle: Euro court should review Intel's €1.6bn fine

An EU High Court Advocate General has recommended a review of the case that saw Intel slapped with a record fine after it was found to have coerced OEMs to avoid using rival companies' x86 CPUs. Back in 2009, the EC imposed a €1.06bn penalty - 4.15 per cent of Intel's turnover - following a multi-year legal battle but …

Exertis gets claws in Hammer for undisclosed sum

DCC Technology today confirmed its subsidiary, Exertis, has gobbled specialist storage and lesser known server distie Hammer for an undisclosed sum, which should help ease recent top line pressures. Hammer trades with “almost” 1,000 reseller, system integrator and cloud service provider punters, selling infrastructure gear …
Paul Kunert, 14 Oct 2016
holland

Dutch govt ordered to use open standards for comms from 2017

Government bodies in the Netherlands will have to use open technology standards for communications after next year, following a vote by the nation's parliament. The requirement for open document standards has already been adopted by the Netherlands Senate, but a motion by Member of Parliament Astrid Oosenbrug has now unified …
Iain Thomson, 14 Oct 2016
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Ireland reaps benefits of Apple's tax schemes, even without EU bounty

Even without the €13bn tax bill which Ireland was told collect from Apple, the nation's arrangements with Cupertino is driving tax revenue and spending increases in its budget for 2017. The Irish government has this week put forward its budget for the next year, including an extra €1.3bn package of spending increases and tax …
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Stickers emerge as EU's weapon against dud IoT security

The European Commission is readying a push to get companies to produce labels that reveal the security baked into internet-of-things things. The labelling effort is part of a broader push to drive companies to better handle security controls and privacy data in the notoriously insecure and leaky devices. Deputy head of …
Darren Pauli, 10 Oct 2016
Sad Android

EU turns screws on Android – report

Barring a last minute deal, the European Commission is set to impose a swingeing fine for Google parent Alphabet’s anti-competitive behaviour in Europe, with specific terms addressing its control over Android in contracts with phone-makers. The details come via Reuters’ Foo Yun Chee, a regular and reliable source on DG-COMP. …
Andrew Orlowski, 03 Oct 2016
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EU's YouTube filter plan was revised '37 times'

The European Union's plan to get YouTube clean up its act – the proposed updates to copyright for the Digital Single Market – went through 37 revisions before emerging earlier this month: and the movie chiefs were nervous. Wiggin’s partner and Brussels chief Ted Shapiro lifted the lid on the backroom wrangling that led to the …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Sep 2016
Pot calling the kettle black

Salesforce asks Europe to stop Microsoft buying LinkedIn after itself trying to buy LinkedIn

Salesforce has called on the European Commission to block Microsoft's acquisition of LinkedIn. A widely circulated statement from Salesforce Chief Legal Officer Burke Norton says “By gaining ownership of LinkedIn's unique dataset of over 450 million professionals in more than 200 countries, Microsoft will be able to deny …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Sep 2016

Google, Dropbox the latest US tech giants to sign up to the Privacy Shield

Internet giant Google has signed up to the Privacy Shield, a framework designed to facilitate the transfer of personal data between the EU and US by businesses. Data storage and software provider Dropbox has also self-certified under the Privacy Shield. The companies are the latest major US technology businesses to sign up to …
OUT-LAW.COM, 28 Sep 2016
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Jeremy Clarkson and Co. rise to top for Great British Bake Off replacements

Two weeks after Channel 4’s £75m grab of Great British Bake Off from the BBC, the broadcaster has a big marquee but no filling. Mary Berry has joined puckish Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc in electing to stay with the BBC, meaning three quarters of GBBO’s presenting line up evaporated. It was Berry who mitigated the unvarnished …
Gavin Clarke, 23 Sep 2016
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EU's one-time antitrust hammer Steelie Neelie had 'offshore interests'

The EU's former top corporate enforcer sat on a Bahamas-based business without declaring her interest. Neelie Kroes was a director of a firm called Mint Holdings between July 2000 and October 2009 while also serving as commissioner for competition – 2004 – 2010. Kroes also served as Commissioner for the Digital Agenda from …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Sep 2016

EU U-turns on mobile roaming fees: No 90-day cap after all

The European Commission has U-turned again on its plans to tear up roaming fees for customers abroad, going back to its original proposal that all charges should be abolished. Earlier this month the commission published draft plans to force telcos across the EU to offer their customers free roaming for at least 90 days a year …
Kat Hall, 22 Sep 2016
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Are you sure you want to outsource IT? Yes/No. Check this box to accept Ts&Cs

Migrating to an outsourced IT service including cloud is a great opportunity to outsource responsibility for IT and employees while simultaneously increasing efficiency and decreasing cost. At least, that’s the theory. The reality can be a lot more sobering. The SSP outage should serve as a reminder that while cloud can be …
Frank Jennings, 21 Sep 2016
Jean-Claude Juncker speaking in front of EU flag

EU chief promises modernised spectrum policy to avoid mistakes of LTE

The European Union announced its 5G Action Plan last week, and president Jean-Claude Juncker set out some ambitious connectivity goals in his State of the Union address. These include promises to enable free Wi-Fi in public spaces in every town and village in the EU states, and to achieve “full deployment” of 5G by 2025 ( …
Wireless Watch, 21 Sep 2016

Drones and alt energy tech star at Spanish start-up fiesta

Hardware tech such as drones and energy reclamation technology predominated at the Startup Ole conference in Salamanca, Spain last week. The two day event gathered 100 startups and more than 1,000 attendees to the historic University town in Western Spain. Similar events in the UK would be dominated by app developers or in …
John Leyden, 12 Sep 2016