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
"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
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 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

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
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
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
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 …

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 …

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
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
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
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

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
Red Dead Redemption

Dutch MEP slams 'cowboy practices' of GCHQ 'n' pals following Gemalto allegations

As news of the alleged hack of encrypted SIM-card producer Gemalto by the NSA and GCHQ spreads, a Dutch MEP is demanding to know what the European Commission is going to do about what could constitute a serious breach of EU law. According to a new report from Glenn Greenwald, mouthpiece of rogue NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden, the …
Jennifer Baker, 20 Feb 2015
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
US Pentagon. Pic: DoD photo by MSgt Ken Hammond, USAF

Respect mah privacy! EU delegation begs US to play nice with data

A delegation of MEPs is in Washington this week to put pressure on the US authorities to respect EU privacy laws. The 11-strong group from the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) is led by British Labour MEP Claude Moraes. He said the Parliament hasn’t forgotten about the National Security Agency (NSA)'s …
Jennifer Baker, 17 Mar 2015
Amazon Kindle 2

Top Euro court ends mega ebook VAT slash in France, Luxembourg

Your Kindle purchases are about to get dearer following a decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that France and Luxembourg can no longer charge a reduced rate of VAT for ebooks. Both France and Luxembourg set reduced rates of value-added tax for ebooks in 2012, and the European Commission took issue with this, hence …
Jennifer Baker, 06 Mar 2015

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

EU-turn: Greenpeace pressure WON'T mean axing of Chief Scientist

After months of mixed signals and confusion it appears that the European Commission will make a U-turn and keep the role of Chief Science Advisor. Last November, Chief Scientific Advisor (CSA) Anne Glover revealed that the Commish planned to scrap the role, which is “to provide independent expert advice on any aspect of science …
Jennifer Baker, 16 Jan 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
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
Mexico

Going on holiday? Mexico wants your personal data

European airlines could soon be forced to break citizens’ right to privacy if they want to fly to Mexico. Mexican authorities have decided to implement a "passenger name record" (PNR) scheme from 1 April. PNR data encompasses all the information airlines hold on their passengers – from credit card details, phone numbers and …
Jennifer Baker, 11 Mar 2015
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
The European flag

Web daddy Tim Berners-Lee calls for net neutrality in Europe

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, HTTP server visionary and founder of the World Wide Web Foundation, has penned a blog post on the European Commission web site titled Net neutrality is critical for Europe's future. Sir Tim defines net neutrality as “ the principle that each ‘packet’ of data must be treated equally by the network” and says …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Feb 2015

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
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

'Why don't you buy from foreign sites?' asks Commish, snapping on the gloves

The European Commission is to probe the e-commerce sector to find out why people aren’t buying across borders. According to the Commish, despite half of all EU consumers shopping online, only around 15% of them bought from a seller based in another EU country. Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager suspects that: “It’s …
Jennifer Baker, 27 Mar 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
chart

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
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
Fight sticker

Top US privacy bod: EU should STOP appeasing whiny consumers

A top US law enforcement commissioner has claimed European data protection authorities are too worried about helping consumers instead of robustly enforcing privacy laws. Speaking at CPDP2015 in Brussels, Julie Brill, privacy commissioner for the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) defended the US approach to protecting privacy …
Jennifer Baker, 23 Jan 2015
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
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