Articles about European Commission

Angela Merkel. Pic: Christliches Medienmagazin

German data retention law prompts Euro Commission backlash

Germany’s planned data retention law has run into more trouble. But not, despite media reports, because the European Commission is “threatening to take Germany to court”, nor even because of a court ruling against the EU-wide Data Retention Directive. On Tuesday, German stick-it-to-zer-Mann news site Netzpolitik published a …
Jennifer Baker, 17 Sep 2015
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

Who wants a European Broadband Award? Anyone? *tumbleweed*

High speed broadband operators have until the end of this week to nominate themselves for a European Commission award. The Europe-wide Broadband Award honours the five best Next-Generation Networks (NGN) projects delivering at least 30Mbps in urban, suburban and rural areas. The so-called Digital Agenda target for 2020 is …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Sep 2015
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
Gunther Oettinger, EU digital commissioner. Pic: Jennifer Baker

Euro Commission wants to pick your brains on telcos and net access

The European Commission on Friday launched two vast public consultations on internet speed and quality. The so-called 360° review of telecoms and internet rules is open until December 7 and is seeking input from users, organisations, public bodies and businesses. The telecoms questionnaire looks at network, service and …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Sep 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
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
Fountain pen

Silicon Valley fights European Court of Justice ruling with small print

Robbed of their Safe Harbour protection, US cloud giants are taking shelter behind a new data-export and privacy fig leaf. Microsoft and Salesforce have become the first to publicly invoke “model clauses” – saying customers can continue shipping data outside the EU and onto their servers in the US despite Tuesday's ruling by …
Gavin Clarke, 07 Oct 2015
management regulation2

Wanna fight Google’s alleged European evildoing? Then join us, says US legal firm

As Google’s European antitrust woes continue (and problems in India appear) lawyers and lobbyists have teamed up to help facilitate more cases against the Chocolate Factory. American legal firm Hausfeld and Avisa, which styles itself as a “boutique public affairs consultancy” – that’s a lobby agency to you and me – on Tuesday …
Jennifer Baker, 02 Sep 2015
"Image from the glassbrain project,, 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
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

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

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

Rivals of 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. 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
Pulling the plug

Sorry Samsung, Philips, LG, Technicolor: EU upholds €1.4bn cartel fine

The European Union's General Court has upheld a €1.4bn (£1bn) fine against Samsung, Philips, LG Electronics and Technicolor for cartel-like behaviour, while reducing fines imposed on Toshiba and Panasonic. In 2012, the European Commission fined the companies €1.47bn for participating in either one or both of two distinct …
Kat Hall, 10 Sep 2015

Ad rivals whimper: Hey Commish, we've 'ad it up to here with ad giant Google

There’s seemingly no let up in Google’s European antitrust woes, as yet another new possible battlefront opens. Advertising competitors OpenX and AppNexus have complained whinged to the European Commission that the Chocolate Factory is using unfair contracts to stop customers employing rivals services (erm, hmmm, theirs …
Jennifer Baker, 23 Jul 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

European data law: 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

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 …
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
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 …
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
Google faces antitrust charges in the European Union

Commish grants Google two more weeks to work on EU antitrust defence

Google has been given another deadline extension as it prepares to mount a defence against antitrust charges in Europe. The search monster will now have until the end of the month to get its affairs in order, EU Competition Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso confirmed on Friday. Google had already been given an extra six …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Aug 2015

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, …
Green light

EU rubber-stamps Nokia's proposed Alcatel-Lucent gobble

The proposed mega-merger between Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent cleared a major hurdle on Friday, with the European Commission having given the deal its blessing. "The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns, in particular because the parties are not close competitors and since a number of …
Neil McAllister, 25 Jul 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

Danish telcos hang up on merger plans after EU pressure

Telenor and TeliaSonera have abandoned their merger plans following pressure from the European Commission. In an official statement on Friday, the pair called off the deal as they were unable to meet the Brussels competition watchdog’s demands. The Commish opened an in-depth investigation into the deal in April. “The merger …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Sep 2015

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

Europe talks to hackers, security bods on Wassenaar recalibration

Speaking at a roundtable meeting on export controls on Wednesday, Dutch MEP Marietje Schaake said that she and other lawmakers were working to avoid "some of the unintended consequences of the Wassenaar Arrangement." That's the arrangement between various nations on the export of weapons and arms, which includes software used …
Jennifer Baker, 30 Sep 2015

You call THAT safe? Top EU legal bod says data sent to US is anything but

The top advisor to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has said the current agreement between the EU and US is not worth the paper it’s written on . Advocate General Yves Bot’s opinion on the so-called Facebook vs Europe case is not legally binding, but the court’s final ruling almost always follows his advice. The case was …
Jennifer Baker, 23 Sep 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 …
VW Scirocco logo

Exposed Volkswagen 'n' pals get 2 more YEARS to sort out emissions

Despite the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal and a pledge as far back as 2010, the European Commission will not impose real world emissions limits on car makers until 2017. The Commish has said for years that it wants to crack down on deadly nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, but the exposure by the US Environmental …
Jennifer Baker, 08 Oct 2015

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

EU digi bloke: Come ON Europe, you're not TRYING ENOUGH

The EU’s digi-veep says European industry has been too slow in making use of mobile tech, social media, cloud and Big Data. Speaking at the Bruegel Institute in Monday, Andrus Ansip said that less than two per cent of EU companies make full use of such technologies and “about 40 per cent do not use any at all.” Some of that …
Jennifer Baker, 07 Sep 2015
Rotten apple. Pic: Shutterstock (

Are you avoiding tax, big tech firm? Not any more you won't, growl MEPs

MEPs in Strasbourg will tonight discuss how to stop the likes of Amazon and Apple from making deals with governments in order to pay next-to-no tax. The special committee on tax rulings was set up after the “Luxleaks” scandal exposed the scale of tax avoidance schemes carried out by big biz. The draft resolution calls on EU …
Jennifer Baker, 07 Sep 2015

What does EU farm subsidy get spent on? Yes, broadband for Irish farmers

In its efforts to “get every European digital”, the European Commission has raided agricultural funding to try and get farmers surfing. Despite dedicated funds such as the Connecting Europe Facility being slashed, the Commish has found a new way to get cash for rural broadband roll-out. On Tuesday, Agriculture Commissioner …
Jennifer Baker, 01 Oct 2015

Allow the merger, please, we'll play nice, NXP begs EU competition chief

Dutch chipmaker NXP is attempting to get ahead of any EU antitrust concerns regarding its planned Freescale takeover by offering a bunch of concessions to the European Commission, before it has even had a chance to investigate. Competition spokesman Ricardo Cardoso confirmed on Tuesday that the company had sought approval for …
Jennifer Baker, 04 Aug 2015

White House 'deeply disappointed' by Europe outlawing Silicon Valley

The US government is "deeply disappointed" by the European Court of Justice's decision to effectively kill the long-standing "safe harbor" agreement covering the flow of people's personal data across the Atlantic. Under European law, personal information on EU citizens must stay within the Continent for privacy reasons. To …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Oct 2015

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

Angry Austrian's Facebook safe harbour case to be seen by Bot

The top advisor to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will give his opinion on the so-called Europe versus Facebook case on 23 September. The ECJ revealed on Monday that Advocate General Yves Bot’s opinion would be given later this month after it was postponed in June. The case involves “Angry Austrian” Max Schrems, who …
Jennifer Baker, 08 Sep 2015
Panic button

How can we manage this internet thing? The Euro gov needs YOU

The European Commission is asking for help in drawing up laws to govern the internet. On Thursday it launched yet more public consultations designed to inform bureaucrats attempting to help create the digital single market. The two new consultations are so broad as to be almost unmanageable: one on “geo-blocking” and the other …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Sep 2015

EU, China promise 5G cooperation, seek an understanding on standards

The EU and China have pledged to work hand in hand on rolling out the next generation of mobiles and mobile networks. Digi Commissioner Gunther H-dot Oettinger signed a symbolic agreement with Miao Wei, Chinese Minister of Industry and Information Technology at Monday’s “High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue” in Beijing. “5G …
Jennifer Baker, 28 Sep 2015

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

'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