Articles about European Commission

European flag with sad face

EU: We're splashing out €6.7bn on a giant scientific cloud

The EU is launching a €6.7bn (£5.3bn) mega “science cloud”, intended to better exploit the continent's academic research via big data. According to a press release from the European Commission, the EU is the "largest producer of scientific data in the world, but insufficient and fragmented infrastructure means this 'big data' …
Kat Hall, 19 Apr 2016
Google faces antitrust charges in the European Union

So you’d sod off to China to escape the EU, Google? Really?

Analysis Google structures its entire organisation to avoid privacy laws, minimise taxes and de-risk itself from competition oversight*. Today Google’s European supremo hinted that being in China might be less of a hassle, and that losing Google would serve us Europeans right for being so backward. Of course, it’s a sheer coincidence …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Apr 2016

Database of patent licence terms could help resolve FRAND disputes, says expert

Making the terms on which patents are licensed available for public scrutiny could help businesses, courts and regulators determine if the terms of other patent agreements are fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND), an expert in valuing intellectual property (IP) has said. Dr Roya Ghafele, director of Oxfirst, told …
OUT-LAW.COM, 14 Apr 2016
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Euro watchdogs give America's data-sharing Privacy Shield an 'F'

Europe's data protection authorities have graded the new Privacy Shield agreement that covers data sharing between the US and Europe a fail. In a formal response [PDF] published Wednesday by the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, the influential group outlined a number of serious concerns about the agreement, including …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Apr 2016
Three store maidenhead

Ofcom wants you to thank it for resurrecting the spectre of BT's 1980s monopoly

Comment Years ago, we used to mock Ofcom for its Ofcom-branded bottled water, and its tediously technocratic “evidence based” approach, something which is actually enshrined in the 2002 Act that created it. Throughout its first decade, Ofcom chief execs stood regally above the fray, knowing that a regulator’s decision must be …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Apr 2016
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EC cooking up rules change for aggressive tax avoiders

The European Commission is reported to be updating its planned rules for tackling aggressive tax planning. Brussels’ legislators are understood to be updating existing tax plans that would force companies to say where their money is held. Under the proposed rules, firms operating in EU member states with a turnover of more …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Apr 2016
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Three to chop off £3bn of its network in bid to woo EU over O2 merger

Three UK is making a last-ditch attempt to win EU approval of its £10.25bn O2 merger with a number of sweeteners, including £3bn in network deals with competitors, according to reports. According to The Telegraph, Three's owner, CK Hutchison, has signed deals with Virgin and Sky that will guarantee space on its expanded mobile …
Kat Hall, 07 Apr 2016
Spritam 3D printed pills

Brexit: Leaving the EU could trigger UK science patent law rejig

Opinion Some aspects of patent law of relevance to life sciences companies could come back under the control of UK law makers if the UK votes to leave the EU. The UK market could be effectively closed to parallel imports and, by the adoption of appropriate legislation, the UK could remove uncertainty and encourage investment in the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 05 Apr 2016
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Hue, not Three, could be Hutchison’s crown jewel as MNO model morphs

The European Commission has two months to decide whether to allow the takeover of Telefonica’s O2 UK arm by CK Hutchison, owner of 3UK, and if it does, what conditions will be imposed. One of the most likely demands will be for the merged entity to divest some of its infrastructure for a new entrant, or at least to earmark a …
Wireless Watch, 04 Apr 2016
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Ofcom is keeping schtum over BT Openreach plans until end of year

Telecoms regulator Ofcom will not release details of its proposals for greater structural separation of Openreach and BT until the end of the year. In February the regulator stopped short of recommending a full separation of BT and Openreach in its Digital Communications Review. Ofcom will now draft its "proposals for …
Kat Hall, 31 Mar 2016
BT Openreach van outside Comedy Pub

Ofcom wants to crack down on pisspoor BT Openreach biz lines

Ofcom wants to impose "strict new rules" on BT Openreach to improve its leased line services to businesses, in draft proposals today recommending faster installation times, lower prices for high-speed lines and greater access to its “dark fibre” network by competitors. In its Business Connectivity Market Review proposals the …
Kat Hall, 22 Mar 2016
Netflix

'Contractual barriers' behind geo-blocking could breach EU rules

Consumers are partly prevented from accessing online services and content across the EU by "contractual barriers" put in place by businesses, the European Commission has said. Where contractual provisions are behind so-called "geo-blocking" then those agreements might breach EU competition rules, the Commission said in …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 Mar 2016
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British IT outsourcers back Remain in the EU referendum campaign

A trade group representing companies that ship UK tech jobs overseas says we should vote to stay in the European Union. “Outsourcing is a significant growth industry for the UK - currently the UK’s second largest employer - and one where we have every chance of taking a global leadership position. Exiting the EU would quickly …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Mar 2016
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Data protection: Don't be an emotional knee jerk. When it comes to the law, RTFM

How many times have you spoken to someone in a call centre who refused to give you information on the basis that the "Data Protection Act" prevents them? Any potential customers in Germany who told you they can’t buy your IT or cloud service because their law prohibits data transfers outside Germany? Has anyone told you that a …
Frank Jennings, 10 Mar 2016
EU logo on rubber glove

European commish considers probing Android, again

The European Union has taken early steps towards opening an antitrust investigation into the Android operating system. According to Bloomberg, Google's opponents have been asked to prepare redacted versions of their complaints with business secrets removed, so the documents can be shown to Google. The spirits tell Bloomberg …

Feel old? You will now: Blighty's mobile network Three is a teenager

Hutchison Whampoa’s Three network turns 13 today. The fifth mobile network to launch in the UK went live on … the March 3, 2003. Or 3-3-03. (Geddit? The date was no accident: 3 is a lucky number in Chinese culture.) Car crash Even with Hutch’s billions behind it, 3 had a rotten launch. The entire industry was suffering a …
Andrew Orlowski, 03 Mar 2016
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GDS gets it in the neck from MPs over Rural Payments Agency farce

The Government Digital Service's reset of the Rural Payments Agency's IT system, which ended in disaster last year, was “inappropriate for farmers”, according to a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report. Last March a failure to integrate the digital front-end with the back-end system of the Common Agricultural Policy IT system …
Kat Hall, 02 Mar 2016
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Europe is spaffing €20bn on handouts for tech

Sketch Europe's dreams may be sinking like the Titanic, but wait: there’s €20bn of taxpayer’s cash swilling around for tech handouts. So we found at yesterday's Digital4EU shindig. “There’s a lot of money with a digital label on it – over €20bn,” said Luciana Tomozei, policy advisor at the European Investment Bank. This comes via …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Feb 2016
Cat 5 cable

Phorm suspends its shares from trading amid funding scrabble

Controversial web monitoring business Phorm has temporarily suspended trading in its shares after failing to secure funds. In a statement to the London Stock Exchange yesterday, it said it is in "advanced discussions" regarding alternative financing. "There can be no guarantee that such discussions will result in any funds …
Kat Hall, 26 Feb 2016

One major hurdle cleared for Dell's $67bn slurp of EMC

Dell and EMC have received US Federal Trade Commission clearance for their $67bn merger with the expiry of the 1976 Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act-mandated waiting period. Under the terms of the HSR act, the corporate parties to a merger must file details with the FTC and US Department of Justice, and wait for 30 …
Chris Mellor, 23 Feb 2016

Cameron co-opts UK mobile industry for EU Remain campaign

The date of the UK referendum on EU membership is set, and the campaigning has begun. Prime Minister David Cameron sees European mobile co-operation as a key part of the case for voting Remain. Today he chose Telefonica’s O2 HQ in Slough for a speech and public Q&A. Cameron argued that Britain would lose influence outside an …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Feb 2016

'Leave' or 'Stay' in the referendum? UK has to implement GDPR either way

Opinion “In” or “out”, the UK has to implement the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This is important given that some organisations might think that a “Leave” vote might change matters with respect to the GDPR compliance (especially as the Cabinet minister responsible for GDPR implementation, John Whittingdale, is a prominent …
Zuckerberg photo Facebook

Zuck: Facebook won't retry Free Basics in India

MWC16 Mark Zuckerberg says he'll find other ways to deliver connectivity to rural Indians, after his Free Basics program was rebuffed in India. But the program will press on in the other 37 countries. Free Basics was just one of Facebook's Internet.org initiatives, he stressed, which intended to bring the 4.1 billion unconnected …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Feb 2016

Privacy Shield: Data Protection Commissioners break out a six-pack

Hawktalk In this blog, I make a few comments about “Safe Harbor 2” (or the “Privacy Shield” to use the flash marketing term for the recently announced agreement). In summary, there is no published evidence that the Privacy Shield actually provides an adequate level of protection: so contrary to all those optimistic news reports, can you …
Girl in rain

Bulk sensitive data slurp? You can't stand under our umbrella-ella-ella – EDPS

A data protection framework that will underpin the exchange of personal data between law enforcement agencies in the EU and US should not apply when sensitive information is to be transferred to the US in bulk, an EU privacy watchdog has said. The data protection "umbrella" agreement was announced by the European Commission …
OUT-LAW.COM, 17 Feb 2016

Europe whips out tool to get a grip on govts jerking around the web

The European Commission (EC) has published a beta version of its new internet governance tool, called the Global Internet Policy Observatory (GIPO). GIPO has been a year in the making after it signed a contract back in December 2014 to create a tool that would "address the main challenges of the multi-stakeholder governance of …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Feb 2016
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Google? Great firm, lovely people, says Microsoft-backed ICOMP

A Google-bashing industry group backed by Microsoft says its Google-bashing days are over. In a blog post from last week, ICOMP confirmed that it was changing its focus: While we continue to monitor the Commission’s Google investigation, we are aligning our focus to evolving interests of our membership. ICOMP now focuses on …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Feb 2016
HMRC photo, Gov.uk

HMRC is to tax OpenStack cloud with UK citizens' data

Britain’s taxman has embraced OpenStack for a fledgling cross-channel digital tax service. HMRC is rolling out its vaunted multi-channel digital tax platform (MDTP) on OpenStack from relatively unknown cloud start up DataCentred. That means what was once billed as a Linux for the cloud has become the web and data centre …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Feb 2016
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EU could force countries to allocate 700 MHz band to mobile by mid-2020

New legislation could force EU countries to make sure the 700 MHz band of spectrum is made exclusively available for mobile services by the middle of 2020. The European Commission has published proposals to introduce new laws that would require EU countries to “allow the use of the 694-790 MHz frequency band for terrestrial …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Feb 2016
Man with head in the cloud

Europe makes it rain for cloud biz: £30m of gold showered on BT, IBM etc

The European Commission has announced what companies will supply the organization with its new cloud services. Contracts were broken out into three "lots," covering a private cloud setup, public cloud setup, and platform-as-a-service, for which it will pay a total of €34.6m (US$38.5m, £26.6m). Despite having received 20 …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Feb 2016

Three: We won't hike prices if you say yes to £10.5bn O2 merger

Three has promised it will not raise prices for customers if it is allowed to hop into bed with O2 in its proposed £10.5bn in an open letter hitting back at regulators' fears over the deal. In the letter, Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison, which owns Three UK, promises it will not raise the price for consumers of a voice minute, a …
Kat Hall, 04 Feb 2016
European commission photo via Shutterstock

Europe wants end to anonymous Bitcoin transactions

The European Commission (EC) wants to end anonymous trading in virtual currencies in order to help track terror groups's funding. The EC yesterday published an Action Plan to strengthen the fight against the financing of terrorism (PDF) that says criminals are quick to seek out new ways of moving money that offer lower risk of …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Feb 2016
Sparta

Safe Harbor ripped and replaced with Privacy Shield in last-minute US-Europe deal

European and US legislators have hammered out a last-minute deal to allow data flows across the Atlantic to continue without breaking the law. "For the first time ever, the United States has given the EU binding assurances that the access of public authorities for national security purposes will be subject to clear limitations …
Iain Thomson, 02 Feb 2016
Happy business people celebrate. Photo by Shutterstock

UK concerned over EU law plans on trade of data for digital content

The UK government has warned that EU proposals to extend consumer protection rules to businesses that supply digital content for free in return for access to consumers' data could "unduly inhibit" that "very innovative business model". In December last year the European Commission published a new draft directive on contracts …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Feb 2016
ExaNeSt Logo

Exascale project wants machine with TEN MEEELLION ARMS

Europe's ExaNeSt project is looking behind the couch for ten million ARM processors, to support its exascale supercomputing project. As well as a bucket of processing, what it's calling its “straw-man prototype” will use liquid cooling, Flash memory in the processor fabric, and will use “innovative, fast interconnects” to …
networking plugs

Safe Harbor crunch time: Today's the day to hammer out privacy deal

US and EC (European Commission) officials have until the end of the day today to reach a new Safe Harbor agreement or risk a breakdown of transatlantic e-commerce. Despite furious efforts over three months and, for the past few weeks, daily meetings between officials, the two sides are still reportedly at loggerheads over two …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 Feb 2016
Sharon White, new head of Ofcom, former Second Perm Sec at the Treasury

Ofcom's head is dead against Three and O2's merger

Ofcom chief exec Sharon White has decided to tell everyone what she really thinks about the possible £10.5bn merger between O2 and Three – and it turns out the regulator-in-chief is not a fan. Hong Kong’s CK Hutchison announced its intention to acquire O2 from Telefónica last year. However, the European Commission has opened …
Kat Hall, 01 Feb 2016
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Sorry slacktivists: The Man is shredding your robo responses

Years ago, we were told that mass democratic participation was was going to be revolutionised by the web. One click was all it would take to effect change - if only enough people clicked. We would tweet truth to power. Instead of arranging to see an elected representative, we could fill in a handy web form. The future belonged …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Jan 2016
European commission photo via Shutterstock

Clock's ticking: Euro Commission considers Dell-EMC megacorp

EMC/Dell deal Competition authorities at the European Commission will either rubber-stamp Dell’s proposed $67bn slurp of EMC by the end of next month or launch a full-blown probe. The largest buy in tech history is expected to close between May and October, according to the companies - but this is assuming anti-trust regulators approve it …
Paul Kunert, 26 Jan 2016
The Chocolate Festival, London

Five reasons why the Google tax deal is imploding

Listicle Today, the UK's tax deal with Google – or rather, corporate parent Alphabet Inc – looks worse than ever. Here's why. 1. Google avoids Osborne's 'Google Tax' Remember the Diverted Profits Tax? Announced in 2014, the DPT was designed to “deter and counteract” companies that “seek to avoid creating a UK permanent establishment” …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Jan 2016
Doomsday clock

Safe Harbor 2.0: US-Europe talks on privacy go down to the wire

United States and European Commission officials have promised they are doing everything possible to reach agreement over transatlantic data-sharing before a critical deadline at the end of this week. After the Safe Harbor agreement – put in place in 2000 – was struck down by Europe's highest court back in October due to NSA …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Jan 2016

Apple CEO visits EU regulator to discuss tax bill

Apple chief executive Tim Cook met European competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager in Brussels last week, apparently to discuss the European Commission's investigation into the company's tax affairs. The Commission confirmed that a meeting had taken place but said it could give no further details. The Commission is …
OUT-LAW.COM, 25 Jan 2016

IRA’s former political wing takes aim at Apple over back tax

Ireland’s republican party Sinn Féin has declared it has no intention of giving Apple any wriggle room over an upcoming European ruling that could leave it liable for billions in back taxes. Ireland is braced for an election - and starting 100th anniversary commemorations of the Easter 1916 rising against British rule. Some …
Joe Fay, 21 Jan 2016

Eight-billion-dollar Irish tax bill looms over Apple

An upcoming European Commission ruling on tax laws could result in Apple having to pay as much as $8bn (€7.33bn, £5.6bn) in back taxes. This according to Matt Larsen, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence who expects the Cupertino maker of iStuffs will be found to have incorrectly reported its financial figures in Ireland and, …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jan 2016
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Database rights are no 'impediment' to Europe's data-driven economy

Opinion The existence of database rights does not hold back EU businesses from developing innovative new uses for data, despite what a recent report backed by two European Parliament committees says. Examples from the sporting world show that database rights can in fact support innovation in uses of data and, in contrast, highlight …

EU lawmaker committees call for single EU telco regulator

The EU's telecoms market should be regulated by a single authority, two committees at the European Parliament have said. The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, and Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, made the recommendation in a motion tabled for a new European Parliament resolution on the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 12 Jan 2016

Qualcomm tries to figure out if Apple, Samsung made it anti-trusted

Sick of the slings and arrows of antitrust regulators, Qualcomm is demanding to know what its tattling customers have been saying to South Korea's Fair Trade Commission. In subpoenas [PDF, PDF] filed in the US District Court of Northern California last week, Qualy demands internal memos and documents from Samsung, Apple, Intel …

Feel like you got ripped off online? This is for you

A new online platform that will resolve problems between European consumers and online retailers will open Saturday. The online dispute resolution (ODR) service will allow people who have bought goods or services online and then had a problem with them to have their issue resolved through third-party referees and without …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Jan 2016

The Network and Information Security Directive – who is in and who is out?

New cyber security laws agreed on by EU law makers in early December are set to impact on a large number of businesses. Political agreement on the draft Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive, which could still be amended, was reached by MEPs and representatives of EU  governments in early December. It means the path …
OUT-LAW.COM, 07 Jan 2016
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After safe harbour: Navigating data sovereignty

Max Schrems has a lot to answer for. The Austrian is single-handedly responsible for bringing down a key transnational data agreement that has left cloud service providers scrabbling for legal counsel. This is either a good thing, if you’re a privacy activist concerned about intrusive US surveillance policies, or a confusing and …
Danny Bradbury, 17 Dec 2015