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Articles about European Commission

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
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

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
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
Care-O-bot 3 serves a drink

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

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 …
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
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 …
European Union Flag

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

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
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

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
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 …
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
Sad cloud

Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals

Apple, Microsoft, HP and other cloud giants are begging Europe for help to stop US feds seizing customers’ data from servers on the Continent. A policy paper [PDF] published on Friday by DigitalEurope – which represents the above goliaths – urged the European Commission to wade into an ongoing legal fight between Uncle Sam and …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Nov 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
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
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
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
Google UK office logos

Mr Almunia, how many more times can Google rewrite Euro search 'dominance' settlement?

On 30 November 2014, the European Commission will have been probing Google's search business practices for a whopping four years. Formal proceedings were opened against the ad giant in late 2010. The date is significant, given that by then we should also know who will replace antitrust boss Joaquin Almunia in Brussels. As the …
Kelly Fiveash, 23 Jul 2014
Privacy image

Europe mulls weaker 'right to be forgotten' Google rule

European ministers are moving in favour of a watered down version of the so-called "right to be forgotten" rules, following discussions on the drafting of the Data Protection Regulation on Friday. A ruling by the European Court of Justice in May ordered Google to remove links from its search results that went to outdated or …
Jennifer Baker, 10 Oct 2014

New EU digi-commish struggles with concepts of net neutrality

The incoming EU Commissioner for all things digital, Günther Oettinger, was quizzed by the European Parliament on Monday night. Truthfully, most of the questions lacked teeth. While the answers to his written questions were bland and lacking in any real content, Oettinger seemed to have decided that saying “infrastructure” over …
Jennifer Baker, 29 Sep 2014

EvilToss and Sourface hacker crew 'likely' backed by Kremlin – FireEye

Russia is "likely" sponsoring a hacking outfit that targets foreign governments and security organisations, the US intelligence firm FireEye claims. "APT28", a group operating for possibly more than a decade, has attacked governments in Georgia, Eastern Europe, as well as NATO and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation …
Darren Pauli, 28 Oct 2014

My smelly Valentine: Europe's perfumers wake to V-Day nightmare

A number of key ingredients used in perfume brands could soon be banned or restricted in the European Union, following health concerns about some of the compounds used in well-known fragrances including Chanel No 5. Brussels officials recommended on Thursday that three substances found in woody scents, including the oak and tree …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Feb 2014
European Union Flag

EU copyright chief: We could SMASH these infinite copyright contracts... just wait

Europe's competition authority could open up an examination of unfair copyright contracts, according to the region's copyright chief. Speaking at a Westminster Forum seminar, Maria Martin-Prat, EC Head of the Copyright Unit for the Internal Market Directorate General (DG MARKT), said the Commission should look at whether …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jun 2014
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
Telephone. Copyright: macinate

Landline deregulation: Big EU telcos have Skype to thank

Traditional telcos have caught a break from the European Commission with the fixed telephony and the wholesale fixed call markets set to be immediately deregulated. However, Steelie Neelie Kroes, the outgoing digital agenda commissioner, denied that this was a sop to get lots of very large and powerful companies on-side, via the …
Jennifer Baker, 09 Oct 2014
euros_channel_money

EU hunts down online cross-border lawbook bureaucra-snaggles

The European Commission is to conduct an "in-depth review" of the risks present in conflicting laws and jurisdictions that apply online. The Commission made the announcement in a new communication it issued last week on internet governance. The Commission identified "a number of contradictory legal decisions" that have been …
OUT-LAW.COM, 19 Feb 2014
Double Facepalm; when one facepalm is not enough.

Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods

Businesses should not need to notify consumers that their personal data has been lost or stolen if the data has been encrypted, EU ministers have said. Ministers in the Justice and Home Affairs Committee of the EU's Council of Ministers backed the plans as part of a wider partial agreement reached last week on reforms to EU data …
OUT-LAW.COM, 15 Oct 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
Ski the Santa Clara police dog

Google will 'pre-select' an 'independent' competition inspector in EU search case

Competition chiefs in Brussels have begun sending out rejection letters to complainants in the long-running Google search antitrust case, revealing - among other things - that the ad giant will be picking candidates for the role of "monitoring trustee". The person or persons appointed to the role will be expected to …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Jun 2014
Manneken Pis statue, Brussels

Almunia faces GRILLING from MEPs over FAILED Google settlement deal

Europe’s competition chief will face tough questions from MEPs next week over his failed attempts to reach an antitrust settlement deal with Google, which fell far short of sanctions being meted out to the ad giant. Joaquin Almunia - who will leave his post by the end of October - said in Florence, Italy, on Friday that Google …
Jennifer Baker, 20 Sep 2014
Battery beer stein

Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich

The European Commission has decided Munich, not London, is Europe's top technology hub. The judgement is delivered in a new Atlas of ICT Activity in Europe released this week. The Atlas rates Europe's “ICT Poles of Excellence”using an “empirical framework” that considers over 40 factors to measure the following: R&D activities …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Apr 2014

US to strengthen privacy rights for Euro bods' personal data transfers

The US will take steps before the summer to comprehensively strengthen the "Safe Harbour" framework that helps facilitate some transfers of personal data to the US from the EU. The commitment to improve privacy protections (10-page/445KB PDF) was contained in a joint statement issued on behalf of senior officials from the EU and …
OUT-LAW.COM, 31 Mar 2014
O2_uni_charger

Europe approves common charger standard for mobe-makers

The European Parliament has signed off on its proposal to force mobile phone makers to adopt a common charging standard. The new regulation means that if mobe-makers' want to meet European standards for “radio equipment” they'll have to ensure their products will have to be chargeable using micro-USB. But there are ways out of …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Mar 2014

Yelp files competition complaint against Google search biz in EU

Local services review site Yelp has formally submitted a complaint against Google's search business to Brussels' competition officials. It comes as the European Commission's antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia pushes to bring an end to a lengthy probe of the ad giant by sealing a proposed settlement deal with Google, even as …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Jul 2014
Cloudy sky

Bah! No NSA-proof Euro cloud gang. Cloud computing standards will 'aid data portability'

New cloud computing standards to be developed within the EU should facilitate users' ability to transfer data and services between cloud providers, MEPs have said.17 Dec 2013 Cloud computing TMT & Sourcing Outsourcing TMT Advanced Manufacturing & Technology Services The European Parliament has backed a new resolution on cloud …
OUT-LAW.COM, 19 Dec 2013
money_yen_dollar_pound

Euro trade commish criticises Chinese telecoms subsidies

Chinese government subsidies to its telecoms sector are fundamentally unfair, Europe's top trade official has said - just after he announced that the European Commission has dropped a planned unfair pricing investigation into EU imports of Chinese mobile equipment. European Union trade commissioner Karel De Gucht criticised what …
OUT-LAW.COM, 07 Apr 2014

Google strikes deal with EU competition chief over abuse of search dominance claims

Google has secured a settlement deal with the competition wing of the European Commission over its alleged abuse of the EU's search market that will be legal-binding for five years. The ad giant has attempted to reach such an agreement several times, only to be knocked back by antitrust commissioner Joaquin Almunia. But today, …
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Feb 2014

Hungary PM ditches internet tax plans after mass protests

Following mass protests across the country over the past week, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced on Friday that he would scrap a planned internet tax. The idea of taxing internet service providers for every gigabyte of data flowing across their networks was condemned by everyone from telcos and Hungary’s opposition …
Jennifer Baker, 31 Oct 2014
European Union Flag

Europe: Apple could NOT care less about kids' in-app cash sprees

The European Commission has put Apple on the naughty step over its apparent failure to tackle costly in-app purchases. But the EU body gave Google top marks for the suggestions it put forward. On the back of mounting complaints, the EC earlier this year invited both companies for a chat about the way games and other apps can …
Paul Kunert, 18 Jul 2014

EU Competition chief: So what if I didn't tame Google? You're all 'irrational' anyway

Europe’s unelected competition czar has signed off with a sour burp aimed at his elected critics in Parliament. "I don't think antitrust investigations should be part of the conventional political debates," Joaquín Almunia complains in the Wall Street Journal. He was quizzed on his failure to deal with Google, a case which …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Oct 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
Al Pacino as Scarface

Call the Commish! Ireland dragged into Microsoft dispute over alleged drug traffic data

Last Friday, Apple, Oracle, IBM, HP and other cloud bigwigs (represented by DigitalEurope) begged the EU for help in preventing the US seizing emails stored by Microsoft in Ireland. Now Ireland itself has done the same. On Tuesday night, the Irish authorities formally requested that the European Commission examine whether EU …
Jennifer Baker, 19 Nov 2014
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

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
Google UK office logos

Google will have to WAIT and SEE if I fine them - EU antitrust chief

New EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager has said that she won’t be rushed into a decision on Google's alleged abuse of its dominance of the search engine market. Vestager described the investigations into Google as “multifaceted and complex” and said she would need some time to decide on the next steps. The case against the …
Jennifer Baker, 12 Nov 2014
Muscular man stripping off his shirt

'You have no right to see me NAKED!' Suddenly, everyone wakes up at the Google-EU face-off

“You have no right to see me naked!” Paul Nemitz, the European Commission's director of fundamental rights, told Google this week. “A world in which everybody can see everybody naked is wrong.” He was speaking during the finale of the US giant's “right to be forgotten” roadshow – a string of summits organized by the search …
Jennifer Baker, 05 Nov 2014
Philae takes a first look at the surface of Comet 67P

Looking GOOD, probot. Philae good, humans: 'Yes ... YES! The lander is sitting on the ground'

This was the week when a bunch of European space boffins made history by successfully landing a man-made object on a speeding, icy comet, after a few dramatic, bouncy bumps along the way. The Register's space vulture Brid-Aine Parnell witnessed the tense affair unfold at the European Space Agency's ops complex in Darmstadt, …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Nov 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 …