Articles about European Commission

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

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
Ireland map, photo via Shutterstock

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 …
Image by Maksim Kabakou

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

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
A cursor hovers over a Run/Save/Cancel dialog menu.

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
People whispering

US Congress blew the whistle on tax-dodging Apple, claims Europe

It was US Senators that tipped off the European Commission to unusual accounting practices at Apple which lead to its €13bn ($14.5bn) back-tax penalty. That's according to EC Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager who told the Copenhagen Business School her team was pointed to potential illegal tax breaks in Ireland by …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Sep 2016

When Irish eyes are filing: Ireland to appeal Europe's $15bn Apple tax claw-back

The Irish government formally decided to appeal the European Commission's $14.5 billion back-tax demand on Friday. "There are some very important principles at stake in this case," said the country's finance minister Michael Noonan. "A robust legal challenge before the courts is essential to defend Ireland's interests." "The …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 Sep 2016

Cooky crumbles: Apple mulls yanking profits out of Europe and into US

Apple CEO Tim Cook may pull billions of dollars in profit out of Europe and bring them home to the US, less than a month after he vowed he wouldn't. In the aftermath of the massive €13 billion ($14.5 billion) back tax claim that the European Commission landed on the electronics giant and the Irish tax authorities, Cook has …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 Sep 2016

Tim Cook: EU lied about Apple taxes. Watch out Ireland, this is a coup!

Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook has claimed that the European Commission made up its claims about the business’ tax payments in Ireland. Earlier this week EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that Ireland failing to collect taxes from Apple at the standard rate of 12.5 per cent amounted to “state aid” and thus …

EU 'net neutrality' may stop ISPs from blocking child abuse material

Analysis A single paragraph slipped into yesterday's net neutrality guidelines suggests they don't quite deliver the consumer protections that many people think. Guidelines published yesterday by the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC), which stretched to 45 pages [PDF] declared that ISPs would be forbidden …

Making us pay tax will DESTROY EUROPE, roars Apple's Tim Cook

Forcing Apple to pay the same tax rate as other companies will lead to the destruction of Europe, according to its not-entirely objective CEO Tim Cook. "This would strike a devastating blow to the sovereignty of EU member states over their own tax matters, and to the principle of certainty of law in Europe," Cook said in a …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Aug 2016
Grinning man in suit points at a calculator meaningfully. Pic via Shutterstock

Ireland taxman: Apple got NO favours from us, at all, at all

Apple paying €50 corporation tax in Ireland on every €1m of profit reported – a rate of 0.005 per cent – was in compliance with local laws, the Emerald Isle’s under-fire Revenue Commissioners have claimed. The tax collectors issued a statement in the wake of the European Commission's damning verdict that tax arrangements …
Paul Kunert, 30 Aug 2016

EU verdict: Apple received €13bn in illegal tax benefits from Ireland

Updated The European Commission has ruled that tax arrangements between Ireland and Apple were in breach of the EU's state aid laws, and said the American corporation needs to cough up €13bn in back taxes, plus interest. Delivering her judgment in Brussels this morning, the EU's competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said: …

Europe to order Apple to cough up 'one beeellion Euros in back taxes'

The European Commission (EC) will demand an additional €1bn ($1.12bn) from Apple in back taxes, according to Reuters. Back in 2014, the EC took issue with Ireland's tax arrangement with the electronics giant – Apple's European headquarters is in Dublin – and accused it of effectively allowing Apple to shelter tens of billions …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Aug 2016
Andrus Ansip, EU vice-president. Pic: Shutterstock

Top digital Eurocrat issues non-denial about hyperlink non-tax

Comment European Commission vice president Andrus Ansip has denied plans to impose “a tax on hyperlinks”, even though the EU can’t tax hyperlinks, and nobody has asked for URLs to be taxed. URLs, as you might suspect, would be very hard, if not impossible, to “tax” anyway. The great Polish writer Stanisław Lem used to disguise satires …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Aug 2016

French, German ministers demand new encryption backdoor law

A meeting this week between the interior ministers of France and Germany has focused on the issue of encryption and its potential impact on security. In the lead-up to the meeting and in subsequent public comments from the ministers, they both made repeated mention of the issue of data encryption, even calling out the app …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Aug 2016

US Treasury to launch pre-emptive strike on EU's Ireland tax probe

The US Treasury is preparing a pre-emptive strike against a long-awaited probe by the European Commission into Ireland's tax arrangements with tech firms such as Apple. The US Department of the Treasury plans to publish a paper today outlining its views on the EU’s investigations into tax arrangements, sources told The Irish …
Kat Hall, 24 Aug 2016
Robot on road photo via Shutterstock

Ireland's govt IT: Recession and job cuts forced us to adapt

Ireland was hit hard by the global financial crunch of 2007 and 2008. It was the first of the EU member states to slip into recession immediately following the bursting of the economic bubble. As the economy contracted, banks faced default and government debt increased, with Ireland eventually taking an €67.5bn loan from the …
SA Mathieson, 23 Aug 2016

Euro regulator calls for delay to virtual currency exchange anti-money laundering regime

EU law makers should step back from plans to subject virtual currency exchanges and digital wallet providers to anti-money laundering (AML) regulations from the beginning of next year, the European Banking Authority (EBA) has said. The regulator said that more time is needed to implement a legal framework across EU countries …
OUT-LAW.COM, 16 Aug 2016

How Brussels works: if you can’t beat them, join rewrite an EU directive

Analysis The biggest European telcos are poised to use Brussels to enact their revenge on American internet platforms, and on OTT providers like WhatsApp, the Eurocrats’ house journal The Financial Times claims. This isn’t exactly news, as a “sop to telcos” was exactly how we described what to expect last year, after we were leaked a …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Aug 2016
Man counts pounds and pence. Photo by Shutterstock

Three posts lacklustre results, angrily mutters over O2 merger rejection

Mobile operator Three posted lacklustre results for its first half of 2016, following a move by the EU competition regulator to veto its proposed £10.25bn merger with O2. Revenue for the first six months of the year dropped by 2 per cent to £1.052bn. Average revenue per user also fell by 3 per cent to £19.50 per month. The biz …
Kat Hall, 11 Aug 2016

'ICANN's general counsel should lose his job over this'

Interview It has been four years since Shaul Jolles, as CEO of Dot Registry, filed applications for five new internet extensions – .corp, .inc, .llc, .llp and .ltd – and wrote a check for just under $1m to have them considered by domain name system overseer ICANN. Unlike the other applicants for the three US corporate entity suffixes . …
Chris Williams, 04 Aug 2016
Still from tv show three's company  copyright  	DLT Entertainment The Program Exchange FremantleMedia /cbs

Three owner Hutch lobs sueball at EU over failed O2 buy

The owner of mobile network Three UK, CK Hutchison, has lodged a legal challenge against the European Commission. The Telegraph, which broke the story, says a filing has been filed with the General Court (formerly the Court of the First Instance), after the European Competition Commission blocked the acquisition by Hutchison. …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Jul 2016
STRASBOURG, JUNE 29, 2016: The seat of the European Parliament. by Marco Aprile for shutterstock. EDITORIAL USE ONLY

UK membership of Council of Europe has implications for data protection after Brexit

Comment There are whispers circulating in the aether that if PrivacyShield is deemed adequate for transfers of personal data from the European Union(EU) to the USA, then in a post-Brexit Britain, something akin to PrivacyShield can allow for adequate transfers of personal data to the UK. Such an “adequacy” determination would mean …
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Eurocrats to pore over Apache, KeePass code

The Apache HTTP server and KeePass password manager are to get a free code audit, courtesy of a pilot European Commission project. The EC-FOSSA (free and open source software auditing project) pilot was conceived by the European parliament in 2014, and given €1 million to work with. As well as code audits, it's got the …

Ingram Micro and Tianjin Tianhai: Go on, PROBE us

Ingram Micro and the Chinese logistics giant Tianjin Tianhai that wants to buy it confirmed they are to submit the proposed $6bn bid for review to the Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States. This is an about-turn because Ingram - the world’s largest tech distributor - previously said the deal would not “fall …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jul 2016
Symantec director government affairs Brian Fletcher (left) with Microsoft assistant general counsel Cristin Goodwin. Image: Darren Pauli, The Register.

Microsoft and pals re-write arms control pact to save infosec industry

Microsoft and a team of concerned engineers from across the security sector have joined forces to suggest a major re-write of the arms control pact the Wassenaar Arrangement, as they fear the document's terms are a threat tot he information security industry. The pitch is the result of brainstorming by the group to redefine …
Darren Pauli, 21 Jul 2016
European commission photo via Shutterstock

UK 'emergency' bulk data slurp permissible in pursuit of 'serious crime'

Bulk collection of data from phone calls and emails by carriers acting under government orders could be permissible in the pursuit of “serious crime”. That’s the preliminary ruling in a case brought by Brexit chief minister David Davis against PM Theresa May before the European Union’s highest court. The ruling suggests bulk …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Jul 2016

EU eyes flaw in Google’s cash machine

Analysis The European Commission has opened an aggressive new front in its battle with Google, one that Google thought it had secured years ago. And this is one that starts to gnaw away at Google’s core cash generation business. As well as advancing its prosecution of Google over vertical search, the new third area where the Commission …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jul 2016
Gunther Oettinger, EU digital commissioner. Photo by Shutterstock - must mark as editorial use only

EU operators’ 5G manifesto misses the point

Never before have events coincided so neatly to demonstrate the gap between mobile operators’ thinking about 5G, and how future networks will really be deployed for disruptive effect. While Europe’s leading MNOs were presenting a backwards-looking "5G Manifesto" to the European Commission, veiling pleas for net neutrality …
Wireless Watch, 13 Jul 2016
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Spotify, YouTube pay musicians with ever-shrinking buttons

Digital music is a loss leader for tech giants, driving traffic to other parts of the plantation as they harvest personal data. But it’s creators who are carrying the loss. “Leaked” Spotify numbers suggest its maintaining an audience lead over Apple in the digital streaming business - but only by giving the music away for …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Jul 2016
Man in helmet looks uncertain, holds up shield. Photo by Shutterstock

European Commission straps on Privacy Shield

The European Commission has this morning adopted the EU-US Privacy Shield agreement, which will enter into force as soon as all member states are notified of the adequacy decision (PDF). Privacy Shield, which has been adopted after months of negotiations, is an agreement between the EU and the US which ostensibly ensures that …

Kotkin on who made Trump and Brexit: Look in the mirror, it's you

Interview Two American writers have attempted to grapple with the rise of “populism” exemplified by Donald Trump and Brexit, with both starting (if not finishing) from the Left. Both Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges and The New Class Conflict by Joel Kotkin both make uncomfortable reading for the complacent chatterati. Both …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Jul 2016
stack of newspapers with a pair of ethernet cables next to them

EU votes for Privacy Shield

The EU-US Privacy Shield agreement has been agreed by representatives of the EU's Member States. Privacy Shield was constructed as a replacement for the Safe Harbor agreement which covered the transfer of EU citizens' data to the US. Safe Harbor collapsed following legal action spurred by the Snowden revelations, which …

The Great Brain Scan Scandal: It isn’t just boffins who should be ashamed

Special Report If the fMRI brain-scanning fad is well and truly over, then many fashionable intellectual ideas look like collateral damage, too. What might generously be called the “British intelligentsia” – our chattering classes – fell particularly hard for the promise that “new discoveries in brain science” had revealed a new …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Jul 2016

Data protection, Brexit and campaigners: Privacy policy? Eh?

Were you phoned up by the Leave or Remain Campaigns on your ex-directory telephone number during the Referendum Campaign (probably in breach of PECR)? I was. If so, how did they get my number? How did one of the Campaigns, for example, know who was a Millwall fan so the caller from a Campaign gloated (sorry, I mean …
Twilight Zone, 'Time Enough At Last'

A trip to the Twilight Zone with a support guy called Iron Maiden

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Thank you for submitting a support request. You can put your clothes back on now. In another dimension, logging a call could involve a full invasive strip search. Or perhaps there’d be a sado-dimensional version of Zendesk in which, having determined that a user is raising frivolous issues, sends attitude-corrective electric …
Alistair Dabbs, 01 Jul 2016
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Brexit government pledge sought to keep EU-backed UK science alive

BREXIT Scientists and politicans have called on the Brexit government to keep funding EU-backed projects at current rates or risk becoming a backwater. Nicola Blackwood, chair of Parliament's Science and Technology Committee, urged the Brexit Government to move quickly to reassure scientists and their collaborators in the EU that the …
Katyanna Quach, 24 Jun 2016
European flag with sad face

Intel still chip, chip, chippin' away at the European Commission's anti-trust fine

Intel's rearguard action to avoid a billion-Euro-plus fine continued this week in a Luxembourg court, with the company arguing that the 2009 European Commission penalty was unfair. The ancient spat – it began with an October 2000 complaint by AMD – concerns whether or not rebates Intel paid to OEMs to use its processors …
EU egg timer, photo via Shutterstock

Don’t let the Barmy Brexiteers wreck #digital #europe

¡Bong! I have always considered myself an internationalist. Expensive Swiss private school. Los Angeles rehab clinic. East London loft workspace and incubator. My assistant มาลัย (which means "Garland of Flowers" in Thai) is from somewhere in Indo-China. My refreshments are Colombian. I am a borderless child of John Perry Barlow, of …
Steve Bong, 10 Jun 2016