Articles about European Commission

Knives out for new EU rules forcing govts to reveal hacker attacks

Talks began on a new computer security law for Europe on Tuesday night. National ministers, the European Commission and MEPs got together for the first time in an attempt to nail down the wording in the proposed Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive. When it was proposed by the commission early last year, the draft …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Oct 2014
European Union Flag

Ex-EU digi supremo Steelie Neelie's net neutrality bid in tatters?

Former EU digital tzar Neelie Kroes’ net neutrality plans for the Continent may be chucked out by national governments. The latest draft of a law prepared by Italy for national delegations to mull over – a copy of which was leaked by digital rights group EDRi here [PDF] – suggests replacing a definition of net neutrality with a …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Nov 2014
Dr Dre Beats Solo

Forgot About Dre? Not us. Euro bods give nod to Apple and Beats deal

The European Commission has given its official blessing to the $3bn acquisition by Apple of headphone manufacturer Beats. After considering whether the link-up fitted in with merger regulations, the antitrust regulators decided the two firms were sufficiently different that there was no concerns about competition. In a …
Jasper Hamill, 28 Jul 2014

Internet gossip has NOWT to do with data protection, EU Commish

Comment Europe’s new data chief has taken a leaf out of fellow European Commissioner “H Dot” Oettinger’s book, delivering a cast-iron “no shit, Sherlock” statement about things people write online. The EU’s new Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova was speaking ahead of a meeting of all the EU’s justice ministers about data protection …
Jennifer Baker, 04 Dec 2014

Oi, lobbyists. Cough up your details – EU's new first vice-president

Tech lobbyists trying to water down EU laws may soon find themselves in the spotlight, if new EU Commission supremo Frans Timmermans gets his way. The Dutch politician – who is set to take up the EC's number two spot next month with the official title “First Vice-President in charge of Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional …
Jennifer Baker, 07 Oct 2014
The European flag

MEPs want 'unbiased search', whatever that is – they're not sure either

Remember that vote in the European Parliament last week to “break up Google”? Well it’s not just about breaking up the American search giant. A closer reading between the lines of the non-legislative resolution reveals sideswipes at Amazon and eBay as well. The resolution – which was approved by by 458 to 173 last Thursday – …
Jennifer Baker, 02 Dec 2014

One digi market to RULE 'em all: Get with the net neutrality plan, guys, moans EU digi-veep

Europe’s new digi chief has told telecoms ministers to get their act together and deliver strong net neutrality rules. Andrus Ansip, European Commission veep for all things digital, said he had “no illusions” that this would be easy, adding: “I really hope that an agreement can be reached over the coming months. Otherwise, I …
Jennifer Baker, 08 Dec 2014

Let's vote on breaking up Google, say MEPs with NO power to do any such thing

On Thursday this week, the European Parliament will vote on whether to break up ad and internet giants such as Google ... even though it has no real power to do so. The so-called Resolution on the Digital Single Market, proposed by German MEP Andreas Schwab and his Spanish colleague Ramon Tremosa, seeks to unbundle search …
Jennifer Baker, 24 Nov 2014
The Register breaking news

European Parliament votes against ACTA legal review

The European Parliament (EP) has voted overwhelmingly not to refer the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) for judicial review, but instead to strike while the iron is hot and vote on the treaty this June. The EP's International Trade Committee voted 21 to five against referring the controversial treaty to …
Iain Thomson, 27 Mar 2012
Fight sticker

Should spectrum hog TV give up its seat for broadband? You tell us – EU

The European Commission wants help in deciding whether or not to allow terrestrial TV to hang on to valuable spectrum. The Commish launched a public consultation on Monday asking industry, academia and users of TV or wireless broadband to speak their brains on how to proceed in allocating the 700 megahertz band. Currently, the …
Jennifer Baker, 13 Jan 2015

If Europe is against US's Irish email grab, it must pipe up now

Analysis The European Commission is running out of time to wade into the battle between US prosecutors and Microsoft over servers in Ireland. Uncle Sam's lawyers want the American company to hand over emails stored in the Emerald Isle, and everyone but the EC is piling in with their 2p. Before Christmas, the Irish authorities filed an …
Jennifer Baker, 07 Jan 2015
European Union Flag

Welcome your new digital.. commissioners? Likely pair could fill Steelie Neelie's shoes

It’s going to take two men to do one woman’s job at the new European Commission. The new line-up was announced on Wednesday following weeks of speculation and horse-trading of the sort that usually accompanies football transfers. President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker has decided to create two Digital roles to replace the current …
Jennifer Baker, 11 Sep 2014

We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie

Europe’s digital chief Neelie Kroes will reiterate her commitment to “international governance of the internet” later today – that’s code for a smaller role for the US. The European Commissioner will represent the EU at the ninth Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Istanbul, Turkey, next week and will push for a more “global …
Jennifer Baker, 29 Aug 2014
Rupert Murdoch @ Davos 2009 credit: World Economic Forum

Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims

Google has penned a response to News Corp’s accusations that the web firm is a “platform for piracy” and its exhortation to Europe to crack down on on the search firm even further. In a post on the Choc Factory’s official blog, Rachel Whetstone, head of global comms, rebutted News Corp’s points one by one while taking a few …
Facebook

What's up, Zuck? Facebook asks Brussels to probe its GIGANTIC WhatsApp deal

Facebook has asked the competition wing of the European Commission to probe its $19bn buyout of WhatsApp in a move to apparently nullify a host of investigations being sparked in multiple EU nations. According to the Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter, Facebook appears to be keen to swerve antitrust …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 May 2014
A garden gnome depicted stretched out across picnic table... with a pipe in one hand while the other props him up. Has a confrontational look in his eye...

EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report

The European Commission is set to accuse Apple of profiting from unlawful state aid from Ireland thanks to the sweet tax deals the firm has enjoyed for the last 20 years, a newspaper has reported. Sources whispered to The Financial Times reported (behind its paywall) that the EC’s antitrust authority will this week reveal some …
management regulation1

Google’s dot-com forget-me-not bomb: EU court still aiming at giant

Google’s argument that its .com domain is not relevant in so-called "right to be forgotten" requests in Europe will not stand up in court, according a senior legislator at the European Commission. Speaking at the Academy of European Law’s data protection event in Paris on Thursday, Paul Nemitz, the outspoken director of the …
Jennifer Baker, 31 Oct 2014
European Union Flag

It's official: EU chiefs WILL probe Apple's Irish tax deal

The European Commission officially announced today that it is looking into the possibility that Apple received illegal state aid from Ireland in 1991 and 2007. The Commish is examining whether deals done with the Irish tax authorities constitute state aid. Apple’s European arm is incorporated in Ireland and, like most …
Jennifer Baker, 30 Sep 2014
Neelie Kroes signs eID

New e-Signature rules: Shouldn't WE be using it? – Steelie Neelie

After 15 years, the EU is finally updating its e-Signature rules — designed to establish a legal framework for the use of data signatures — although they won't apply to EU institutions themselves, much to the chagrin of outgoing Digital Agenda Commissioner Steelie Neelie Kroes. Neelie Kroes signs eID Neelie Kroes signs the eID …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Oct 2014
Facebook WhatsApp

Facebook, WhatsApp sit on cold steel table as Euro Commish ponders painful probe

Rivals of Facebook and WhatsApp have been asked to complete a whopping 88 multiple-choice, multi-part questions that range from the blindingly obvious – “To the best of your knowledge, do users use more than one social networking service?" – to the vague and indefinable – “Please provide any recent examples of consumers …
Jennifer Baker, 02 Sep 2014
Panasonic Viera TX-P42GT30

EU waves remote at Liberty Global's Dutch telly takeover

Liberty Global must sell its Dutch premium pay-TV movie channel Film1 if it wants to take over cable telly operator Ziggo, Brussels' antitrust chief has warned. Since the planned buyout will bring together the first and second largest cable television networks in The Netherlands, the European Union’s competition commissioner …
Jennifer Baker, 10 Oct 2014
money_yen_dollar_pound

Ireland accused of giving Apple 'selective advantage'

The European Commission will investigate The Republic of Ireland's handling of Apple's tax affairs, after raising concerns that discretion available to the nation's tax authorities “... has been used in the case of Apple to grant a selective advantage to that company, reducing its tax burden below the level it should pay based …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jun 2014
The Register breaking news

Commission clears Hollywood studios after U-turn

The European Commission has ended an investigation into the major Hollywood studios after they changed contract provisions on installing digital kit at cinemas. Eurocrats reckon the changes will make it easier for small, independent films to get decent distribution. Moving a cinema onto digital equipment is expensive, so the …
John Oates, 04 Mar 2011

Viv Reding quits justice commish role - heads for EU parliament

European justice commissioner Viviane Reding resigned from her Brussels' post today, after taking up her recently won seat in the European Parliament. The Luxembourg Christian Social People's Party politico said in a short Facebook post that her MEP mandate had begun on the same day as the "drastic reduction of tariffs of ' …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Jul 2014
Euro notes

Microsoft outspends world's tech firms with '€5m' EU lobby bill

Microsoft spends more than any other tech company in the world on lobbying the EU, if you believe the figures in the non-obligatory EU Transparency Register. A new online tool called LobbyFacts.eu allows data from the register to be automatically sorted, compared, ranked and analysed in ways not possible through the official EU …
Jennifer Baker, 01 Oct 2014
Infosec

Cybersecurity? Nothing to do with us, mate – Google and Facebook

Google, eBay, Facebook, Yahoo! foursquare and Microsoft want nothing to do with the proposed new EU cybersecurity law. In an open letter to Europe’s telco ministers last week, CCIA (the Computer & Communications Industry Association) said the proposed Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive should excluding internet …
Jennifer Baker, 12 Nov 2014
BrickArms' Toy taliban figure

EU, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft: We'll fight terrorists... with WORKSHOPS

The EU, and several of the world's biggest and most powerful tech companies, made little progress in finding ways to combat terrorists' use of online media, following a meeting and dinner on Wednesday night. EU government ministers met Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft representatives. Although terrorist groups (most …
Jennifer Baker, 10 Oct 2014

EU bangs drum over its openness rules – from which it is exempt

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) might be all about privacy, but has warned politicians and public figures it will not be helping protect their dodgy deals. The EDPS’ new guidelines for public bodies encourage EU institutions to balance transparency in the interests of the public against the data protection rights …
Jennifer Baker, 10 Dec 2014

Look out, it's 'H' from Brussels: New Euro digi-czars take post

It’s official. Europe’s new digital dream team will feature Andrus “The Robot” Ansip and gaffe-prone Günther “H” Oettinger.* Data protection commander-in-chief will be Vera Jourova (who also gets the pick 'n' mix portfolio of justice, consumers and gender equality), while Margrethe Vestager will do battle with Google under the …
Jennifer Baker, 22 Oct 2014
Sony God of War II

Net neutrality: EU's three-headed beast now at war with itself

Europe’s telecoms ministers are miles from an agreement with the European Parliament on net neutrality, as differences between the EU's governmental bodies become more apparent. The EU’s Telecommunications Council - made up of national ministers - will meet in Brussels tomorrow to discuss how to move forward on the proposed …
Jennifer Baker, 26 Nov 2014
The Register breaking news

European vote hammers another nail into ACTA's coffin

The European Parliament's International Trade Committee (INTA) has voted decisively to reject the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and is recommending that the treaty be rejected in next month's plenary vote. "I welcome the result of today's vote. I am pleased that the committee has acknowledged the …
Iain Thomson, 21 Jun 2012

EU's super-commish for tech: Geo-blocks on cat vids, music – NOT FAIR

Andrus Ansip, the new EU super-commissioner for all things digital, says he will work to completely abolish geo-blocking of media in Europe – and urged telcos to get on with pushing out high-speed mobile broadband. What started out as a relatively boring and predictable hearing before the European Parliament on Monday took a …
Jennifer Baker, 07 Oct 2014

Freshly uploaded EU digi-Czar is CLUELESS ON TECH but it's no big deal, says Steelie Neelie

It doesn’t matter that the incoming EU Commissioner for all things digital doesn’t really understand technology, so says Europe's current digi commish Neelie Kroes. Günther H.* Oettinger, the man set to take over Steelie Neelie's role in November, is not renowned for being particularly up on Web2.0, with a marked lack of …
Jennifer Baker, 21 Sep 2014
EU flag

Microsoft appeals record European Commission fine

Microsoft is appealing a record European Commission fine for not complying with a milestone European Commission anti-trust ruling. Four months after the Commission ordered Microsoft to pay $1.39bn (899m euro) for not meeting the terms of its original 2004 ruling, Microsoft said Friday it's going to court to seek "clarity". …
Gavin Clarke, 09 May 2008
Care-O-bot 3 serves a drink

Get ready for Europe's ROBO-BUTLERS: Billions of €€€s pledged to electro-slave dream

Pic The EU has announced a hefty billion-euro investment fund for robotics research, which it hopes will create 240,000 new jobs across the economic region. Care-O-bot 3 serves a drink Care-O-bot ... not terrifying at all (Credit: SPARC) In the world’s largest civilian robotics programme, the European Commission, along with the …
BrickArms' Toy taliban figure

EU battles over 'anti-terrorist' passenger records slurper law

Law enforcement agencies just want all the data they can get their hands on, regardless of justification - so said disgruntled MEPs at the European Parliament’s hearing on PNR on Tuesday. The PNR (Passenger Name Records) Directive is a proposed EU law that would force airlines to hand over personal information about all …
Jennifer Baker, 11 Nov 2014
The Register breaking news

Steelie Neelie floats pan-European phone number notion

The European Commission is opening a consultation on whether businesses would find a pan-European telephone number useful, or useless. One contact number which would work across the European Union might reduce costs for multi-national businesses and make cross-border trade simpler for consumers. Neelie Kroes, VP of the European …
John Oates, 06 Dec 2010
A map of Europe's solar potential

Looking for a job in Europe? Experienced IT staff needed in UK, Italy and Germany

Qualified IT worker? Fancy working in Europe? Come on over... but only to the UK, Italy and Germany. According to a new report funded by the European Commission, the number of ICT jobs in Europe is growing by about 4 per cent per year. But the number of suitably skilled workers is not keeping pace and by 2015, it predicts a …
Jennifer Baker, 28 Oct 2014

Eurocrats recommend right to sue American companies over snooping

The European Commission is calling for better protection of its citizens' data, against intrusion by American agencies like the NSA. According to Reuters, the commission wants European citizens to have the right to sue in America over misuse of their data – something the US has promised but not yet implemented. The report …
The Register breaking news

Ombudsman probes European Commission over late payments

The European Ombudsman has kicked off an investigation into the European Commission's habit of not paying its suppliers in a timely manner. P Nikiforos Diamandouros's investigation into the Commission's tendency to bend the cash/time continuum comes as the Commission continues its own efforts to support European firms through …
Joe Fay, 09 Mar 2009
European Union Flag

Intel comes out swinging against $1.3bn European fine

Intel is petitioning the EU's General Court to overthrow the massive fine imposed upon it by the European Commission back in 2009, saying that the case against it was fatally flawed from the get-go. "The quality of evidence relied on by the Commission is profoundly inadequate," Reuters reports Intel lawyer Nicholas Green telling …
Rik Myslewski, 03 Jul 2012
Julia Reda MEP, Pirate Party. Pic: Joachim S. Müller

Last Pirate in Brussels: Put ME in charge of yer IP treasure chest. Yarr!

Analysis With more individuals than ever posting their words and pictures to social media and sites like Flickr, you may think it's an odd time to weaken the copyright controls and protections we have over our work. Yet Europe has got itself into a unique pickle over copyright – and it was advised this week to slash such protections as …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Jan 2015
Angry woman on mobile

Steelie Neelie 'shocked' that EU tourists turn mobes off when abroad

Nearly half of European tourists say they would never use mobile internet in another EU country and over a quarter turn off their mobiles altogether over fears of monstrous phone bills when they get home. The European Commission, which is trying to get roaming charges abolished, surveyed 28,000 EU citizens and reckon that …
European Union Flag

Netflix and other OTT giants use 'net neutrality' rules to clobber EU rivals

+Comment Cable giant Netflix and other big firms are using calls for greater net neutrality to drive down the prices they pay, according to recently published research. Referring specifically to the Dutch internet market, late last week John Strand of Strand Consulting said: “Net neutrality law (which limits operators’ ability to manage …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Oct 2014

UK watchdog grills big biz: So HOW do you use their 'consumer data'?

The UK's main competition regulator is looking to build its knowledge of how consumer data is collected, used and traded by businesses. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has asked businesses, trade bodies and other stakeholders to provide it with information about the commercial use of UK consumer data (10-page/262KB …
OUT-LAW.COM, 30 Jan 2015
Oliver Twist

Europe's Google wrangle: PLEASE, DOMINANT Mr Schmidt? More?

The European Commission apparently wants Google to make even more changes to its web search results, beyond those that Brussels has already requested. Brussels and Google are trying to reach a settlement following claims the advertising giant unfairly dominates the search market in Europe. The US goliath's rivals allege that …
Iain Thomson, 09 Sep 2014
channel

Commission outlines how EU govts could standardise admin

The European Commission has published documents which it hopes will result in governments across Europe standardising the way they run their administrations. The Commission said the documents would help make government services interoperable. The Commission's European Interoperability Strategy (EIS) and the European …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 Dec 2010

Right To Be Forgotten in the US: Americans wanna be like EU-oo-oo, says watchdog

The US should be more like Europe – and introduce the controversial "right to be forgotten" ruling – says a top American consumer-defending organisation. In a letter to Google CEO Larry Page and exec chairman Eric Schmidt, Consumer Watchdog asked the search supremos to extend the EU's privacy ruling, dubbed the "right to be …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Oct 2014
Google sign outside Mountain View headquarters

Report: Google back in Europe's crosshairs over web domination claims

Regulators in Europe are about to rewrite a settlement with Google and expand their anti-competition probe into the web giant, it's claimed. The company was already under the microscope for allegedly screwing over its rivals in web search results. The Wall Street Journal cited the proverbial "person with knowledge" in reporting …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jul 2014
Spying image

What happens in Europe, doesn't stay in Europe: US giants accused of breaking EU privacy pact

More than 30 big US tech firms are breaking international agreed-upon US-EU Safe Harbor commitments to safeguard Europeans’ data, according to a complaint filed with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Thursday. The Washington-based Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) claims tech giants such as AOL, Adobe, Salesforce, …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Aug 2014