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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
management regulation2

EU agrees to make documents available to support anti-cartel suits

Companies and individuals affected by cartel activity in Europe will gain access to vital documents to help sue for damages under new proposals which the European Commission says will ensure they "can obtain the evidence necessary to prove their claims". MEPs and European Council representatives agreed the terms on the proposed …
OUT-LAW.COM, 24 Mar 2014
RoboCop

EC antitrust cops raid offices of Philips, Samsung, others

EU antitrust regulators have raided the European offices of Philips, Samsung, retail group Media-Saturn, and several other consumer electronics companies, but so far they're not saying what they were looking for. "The European Commission can confirm that on 3 December 2013, Commission officials initiated unannounced inspections …
Neil McAllister, 06 Dec 2013

Son of ACTA pours fuel on IP trade fire

Activists are mobilising against another international trade treaty, with the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) negotiations between America and the EU starting to cause angst. Negotiating texts of the treaty began leaking earlier this year, and that has given policy analysts time to look under the skin of …
iTunes App Store Hall of Fame

Europe: Apple. Google. Yes, you. Get in here. It's about these in-app bills

The European Commission (EC) has asked Apple and Google to send over some execs for meetings this week on reforming in-app payment systems. The EC wants to shake up the practice of in-game purchases by developers, which have in the past misled users, inflated bills, and circumvented parental controls on applications aimed at …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Feb 2014
Monster Beats Pro

Dr Dre's crew gets Beats-down from Apple: 200 jobs to go – report

Apple is planning to axe around 200 people from its new acquisition Beats Electronics, according to reports. Both Bloomberg and 9to5 Mac had folks whispering in their ears that the fruity firm would be making the job cuts now that its $3bn slurp of the headphones and music streaming biz was well underway. The deal was recently …

MEP: Google's SECRET deal will cause crisis of trust for Europe

Google's secret backroom deal with the EU's competition chief can only worsen the crisis of trust in the European institutions, one MEP tells us. This week the Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia said he would advise the Commission to reject complaints made about Google's business practices, thus allowing the search giant …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Feb 2014
Nokia Asha 501

Microsoft ropes in Opera Mini as default Nokia dumbphone browser

Opera will provide the browser for Microsoft's last dumbphones, under a new agreement between the two companies. Nokia's low-cost Asha devices and its feature phones currently use a proxy-based browser, Nokia Xpress, using Nokia's own servers. This will continue to work, but new devices will ship with Opera Mini, which uses …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Aug 2014

Shambolic search for new head of EU privacy watchdog halted

A seven-month long search for a new European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has ended chaotically, after five candidates who were shortlisted for the job failed to meet Brussels' strict criteria, The Register has learned. It means that the posts that are currently held by Peter Hustinx and his deputy Giovanni Buttarelli will …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 Jan 2014
Qualcomm PdQ 1900

Qualcomm to get it from both sides? EU probe may be coming – report

Mobile chipmaker Qualcomm could be facing into an antitrust probe from the EU at the same time as it fends off a similar investigation in China, according to Reuters. Sources whispered to the news agency that the European Commission may be about to open up an official line of inquiry into a complaint made by Icera, an Nvidia …

YouTube radio stream boss 'quits Google' amid outcry from indie labels

The manager for Google's controversial and yet-to-launch YouTube music streaming service is leaving, the Wall Street Journal claims. Chris LaRosa is the second boss to quit the streaming subscription project in a year, the paper suggests. Assuming the report is correct, he's joining a startup. YouTube sealed deals with major …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Jul 2014

Will the next US-EU trade pact prevent Brussels acting against US tech giants?

The European Union government in recent years has proven to be perhaps the most willing to take on the world's major tech companies over digital rights and wrongs. But that could come to an end if planned measures allowing companies to sue governments for lost profits are implemented as part of the next EU-US trade agreement. A …
Jennifer Baker, 18 Jul 2014

Rivals attack Google's antitrust search settlement deal with EC

The European Commission's competition boss Joaquin Almunia - whose term of office comes to an end in November - insisted today that it was unnecessary to request a further market test from Google's rivals over its alleged abuse of dominance in search. It came after Brussels' vice president confirmed that his office was working …
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Feb 2014
Google walks

Google adds 'data protection' WARNING to Euro search results

Google has begun notifying European Union-based netizens that its search results have to respect the 28-member-state bloc's 19-year-old data protection law. The ad giant has plastered the warning on its search engine across the EU from today. But, anyone living in those countries who navigate to Google.com will find that the " …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Jun 2014

Italy's 'Google tax law' could fall foul of EU discrimination rules

The European Commission has warned that Italy's proposed "Google tax law" would likely break European Union rules on non-discrimination, Reuters reported. The Italian government first floated the idea of the law last month, which became known as the "Google tax law" for what is seen its obvious target. The rule would require any …

Has Europe cut the UK adrift on data protection?

In 1805, William Pitt the Younger, on hearing of Napoleon's victory at the Battle of Austerlitz, is reported to have said: "Roll up that map (of Europe) – it will not be wanted these 10 years". Well I have attended two meetings which suggest that the European Union has already rolled up its Data Protection Map of Europe so it …

EU warns United States: SHAPE UP on data protection OR ELSE

The US has until this summer to fix problems identified in the way an EU-US framework for the transfer of personal data between the regions operates, a senior EU official has said. Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner, said that the EU-US "safe harbour" agreement would be suspended if the US fails to take "legislative …
OUT-LAW.COM, 31 Jan 2014
Google and Microsoft

Brussels' antitrust boss not budging on planned Google competition deal

Brussels' antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia is refusing to reverse the planned settlement deal he has agreed with Google over the company's alleged abuse of its dominant market position on search. His seemingly stubborn refusal to change direction on the proposed agreement was highlighted this week during secret, two-hour-long …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Mar 2014
European Union Flag

MEPs: Specialised services? Oui. 2-speed internet? Nein

MEPs have called for greater restrictions on content producers' ability to set minimum internet service provider (ISP) service levels for their content. Producers and ISPs themselves need to be more restricted than is planned under new EU telecoms rules, they said. The European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home …
OUT-LAW.COM, 27 Jan 2014

Crikey! Three can buy O2, EU regulator says

The European Commission has approved Telefonica’s sale of O2 in Ireland to mobile network operator Three, in a deal originally proposed in June. This makes the network the second largest in the country behind Vodafone, but, as ever in these deals, the Hutchison Whampoa-owned Three - which paid €850m for the network - claims …
Simon Rockman, 02 Jun 2014

Dixon, Carphone hand their numbers to world +dog before the wedding

Dixons (excluding the impact of disposals) and Carphone Warehouse today reported profit spikes for fiscal '14 in what will be the last set of annual results the pair announce before the £3.7bn borg set for calendar Q3. The European Commission yesterday gave the thumbs-up for the merger to go ahead, creating a £12bn retailing …
Paul Kunert, 26 Jun 2014
The Register breaking news

EU Commission proposes new directive on storing air passenger details

Details of passengers on every flight within the European Union will be passed to destination countries under European Commission proposals published today. The Commission has proposed a Passenger Name Record (PNR) Directive ordering airlines to send the information it holds on its passengers to authorities in the destination …
OUT-LAW.COM, 03 Feb 2011
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Microsoft and pals applaud UK's 'Google Review' copyright move

The rest of Europe should follow the UK’s example and get rid of copyright levies, says an EU trade group representing Microsoft, Apple, Samsung and thousands of others. Earlier this week, the House of Lords approved a new law which introduces a narrow private copying exception allowing consumers to make digital copies of their …
Jennifer Baker, 31 Jul 2014
Happy woman at a computer

Women! You too can be 'cool' and 'fun' if you work in tech!

Hey ladies! Did you know it's cool to work in tech? EU commish Neelie Kroes is here to tell you all about it, after a study claimed that the lack of women in ICT roles was costing the European Union billions of euros. Happy woman at a computer HURRAY! Now that I work in IT, I'm so fun and cool and in the future! (I really must …

Death of data retention directive: What it means for OTHER data laws

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on Tuesday declared the Data Retention Directive (DRD) invalid. It has said that the DRD "entails a wide-ranging and particularly serious interference with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data, without that interference being …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 Apr 2014
European Union Flag

Euro judge flings out Cisco beefs against Microsoft-Skype deal

Cisco’s European challenge to Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype has been thrown out by a judge. The European Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday that Microsoft’s ownership of Skype doesn’t damage competition in either the consumer or video communications markets. “Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype is compatible with the internal …
Gavin Clarke, 11 Dec 2013
Google Chocolate Factory

Google close to inking search biz deal with Brussels: report

Google is reportedly edging closer to scoring a settlement deal with competition officials in Brussels regarding the ad giant's alleged abuse of its dominance in the European search market. According to Reuters, Google has submitted a "much better" revised package of concessions to the European Commission's anti-trust chief …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Jan 2014
neelie kroes

Steelie Neelie eats crow, welcomes mere €1bn Euro broadband fund

A year after Neelie Kroes expressed severe displeasure at budget cuts that reduced funding for the Connecting Europe Facility project from €9.2bn to €1bn, the vice-president of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda has welcomed formal allocation of the smaller sum. The Connecting Europe Facility hoped to spend the cash …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Feb 2014
graph up

Use eGovernment to lower costs, says EU Commission

European governments must make greater use of the internet in the way they work or risk increasing the cost of doing business and alienating the young, the European Commission has said. The Commission has launched a plan and some pilot projects aimed at encouraging governments across the trading bloc to make more use of internet …
OUT-LAW.COM, 20 Dec 2010
euros_channel_money

VAT's all folks: Telecoms and services tax to be set at consumer's homeland rate

VAT relating to cross-border business-to-consumer transactions will be charged at the rate in the country where the customer is based, rather than that of the supplier, under new EU rules to take effect in 2015. Explanatory notes on new VAT rules for telecoms, broadcasting and electronic services have been published by the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Apr 2014

US Justice Department on Microsoft's Nokia acquisition: 'Go for it'

The US Department of Justice has given its approval to Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia. The next step in the deal's finalization will up to the EU, which has said that it will issue its decision this Wednesday. The DOJ's go-ahead came in the form of a notice, released Monday by the US Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of …
Rik Myslewski, 02 Dec 2013
Thibaut_Kleiner

EU network tech boss: Europe to take the lead on 5G (thanks, Huawei)

At the 5G@Europe Summit on Monday, Brussels networking czar Thibaut Kleiner said that Europe will "lead" the way with 5G, and that this will mean growth in the IT sector and the economy at large. The Munich event was heavily sponsored by Huawei and while panel members included representatives from French telecom and networking …
Simon Rockman, 11 Feb 2014
Troll in cross hairs

EC competition chief points troll-hunting guns at Nokia

The EU is erecting the “troll-free zone” signs around the tech sector, with European Commission competition chief Joaquín Almunia saying the EC will guard against US-style patent trolling. Speaking to the IP Summit 2013 in Paris, Almunia said the EC approved Microsoft's $US7.2 billion acquisition partly because it did not …
neelie kroes

Steelie Neelie calls for TOTAL BAN on EU mobe roaming charges

The European Commission is planning to scrap all roaming charges across the Continent as part of its efforts to turn the telecoms market into a single market across all EU countries. Announcing the proposed changes, the EC said they'd be good for everyone, reducing red tape for companies and letting them expand across borders, …
Roughly 150kg of gold

Europe floats DIRTY ORE plan, rights groups scoff: It's VOLUNTARY?

The European Commission has released a draft for a programme to regulate the use of conflict materials. The EC said that its plan includes measures which would seek to restrict groups from trading in valuable minerals in order to fund armed conflicts. The package would bring a certification which would require importers in the …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Mar 2014

Google rivals GAGGED from exposing ad giant's EU search peace offering

How exactly Google will overhaul its web-search engine in Europe is unlikely to be aired in public: the European Commission's competition officials have sent out copies of the advertising giant's package of concessions to its rivals for comment – along with a requirement for them to agree to confidentiality clauses. Despite …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Oct 2013

EC trade secrets plans: Infringing kit may be DESTROYED by order

Courts could order companies that infringe rivals' trade secrets to destroy goods developed using that know-how and pay damages under new laws proposed by the European Commission. The Commission has published a draft Directive on trade secrets (26-page/133KB PDF) in a bid to harmonise the legal framework around the unlawful …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Dec 2013
server room

European Commission pays IDC to take a hard look at HPC

The European Commission has commissioned IT market researchers and analysts at IDC to work with some of the top European supercomputing labs to rationalize and coordinate the efforts to push into petascale and exascale computing within Europe. HPC experts from Teratec, in France, Daresbury Laboratory, in the United Kingdom, …
Micro SIM Card

Brussels accuses chip makers of collusion

A five-year investigation in Europe into collusion into the smart card market is heating up, with the European Commission issuing a 90-page “statement of objections” to big-name vendors including Philips and Infineon. The European Commission complaint centres around the silicon used for SIMs, chipped passports, bank cards and …
neelie kroes

Steelie Neelie's 'Airbus of chips' plan taxis for June take-off

Plans for an “Airbus of chips” – aimed at doubling the number of processors made across Europe by 2020 – will be unveiled next month. A group of 11 tech sector chiefs commissioned by the EU will publish a detailed roadmap designed to expand the block’s manufacturing between 2020 and 2025. The goal is for European technology …
Gavin Clarke, 02 May 2014

Old-timey music streamer Rhapsody (aka Napster) reaches 2m subscribers

Antique music streaming service Rhapsody has finally hit two million subscribers after its expansion to include 32 countries worldwide. Rhapsody, also known as Napster in Europe after it acquired the brand in 2011, has been around since forever in internet terms and was one of the first to use the model of song sales through …
European Union Flag

Steelie Neelie bangs cloudy Euro heads together with EU-wide conduct code

The EU has assembled the clearest cloudy minds known to humanity - on this side of the Atlantic, anyway - to work on a code of conduct that gives small biz customers more comfort in signing up to fluffy white tech services. “Steelie” Neelie Kroes, vee pee of the EC, seems to think the cloud will generate 2.5 million new regional …
Paul Kunert, 29 Oct 2013
channel_teaser_money_top

Dimension Data tables bid to swallow global services biz NextiraOne

NTT-owned Dimension Data has tabled a bid for comms and networking reseller NextiraOne in a deal that is currently awaiting approval by the European Commission's Merger & Acquisitions office. A spokeswoman at South Africa network integrator Di Data confirmed that it had "made an offer" but was unable to make any further …
Paul Kunert, 02 Dec 2013

Microsoft-backed lobby group demands market test of Google's proposed 'search fix'

A Microsoft-backed lobby group is urging Brussels' competition chief Joaquin Almunia to open up Google's latest revised offer of a conciliatory package of tweaks to its search biz to the ad giant's rivals. Earlier this week, it was reported that the European Commission was closing in on a settlement deal with Google that would …
Kelly Fiveash, 31 Jan 2014

Indie labels: 5 reasons why we're hauling YouTube before Euro antitrust watchdog

Independent music association Impala has disclosed to The Register a little more detail about its complaint to the EU competition authorities on YouTube's new music contracts. The trade group outlined five areas where it believes Google, which owns YouTube, breaches Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jun 2014
O2 XDA Argon

EU regulators quiz mobe industry over Hong Kong group's new bid

EU competition regulators are going to the mobile ISP industry with new concessions from Hong Kong firm Hutchison Whampoa, as it seeks approval for its $1bn bid for O2 Ireland. Sources whispered to Reuters that the conglomerate has offered the European Commission a new deal for Telefonica's Irish company after an initial …
Eel (Moray with shrimp in mouth)

NSA-proof Euro cloud gang: Cool idea, bro... until it turns into MARKET-EATING beast

The creation of a European "IT Airbus" could raise competition concerns within the EU, an expert has warned. Some German politicians and lobbyists have been pushing for some of Europe's technology companies to group together and create separate IT infrastructure from US-based or US-controlled systems. These calls have come in …
OUT-LAW.COM, 04 Dec 2013
The Register breaking news

Commission defends data protection review timetable

The European Commission has confirmed that it will publish its plans for a review of the Data Protection Directive this year, but will not publish the proposed new law itself until next year. French data protection authority the CNiL said last week that pressure from national data protection regulators has pushed the Commission' …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 Aug 2010
European Union Flag

EC officials voice doubts about Almunia's planned Google settlement deal

Brussels' competition chief is facing a challenge from some of his colleagues in the European Commission who may yet derail his efforts to strike a settlement deal with Google over its alleged abuse of dominance in the search market. Bloomberg reported, citing two sources familiar with the matter, that the EU's justice boss …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Feb 2014

How bad WAS the parking situation in Middelfart* in 2013?

The European Commission has flung £6m at a new digital archive for storing public and private sector data generated by European nations. Dubbed E-ARK, which stands for European Archival Records and Knowledge Preservation, the new system will set a "gold standard" for the hoarding of old and new information. E-ARK is a future- …
Jasper Hamill, 06 Feb 2014