Articles about European Commission

EU-turn: Greenpeace pressure WON'T mean axing of Chief Scientist

After months of mixed signals and confusion it appears that the European Commission will make a U-turn and keep the role of Chief Science Advisor. Last November, Chief Scientific Advisor (CSA) Anne Glover revealed that the Commish planned to scrap the role, which is “to provide independent expert advice on any aspect of science …
Jennifer Baker, 16 Jan 2015
Euro notes

Euro probe headed for Amazon's tax back door

A 2003 Luxembourgeois tax ruling used by Amazon.com to structure its European affairs looks likely to become the subject of a European Commission probe, according to the Financial Times. The Pink 'Un's paywalled report suggests Luxembourg's decision to limit the amount of Amazonian profits it would tax may have constituted an …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Oct 2014
Google UK office logos

EU Google-bashing is making us look really bad, say Google bashers

It appears that Google's rivals, who have complained about the ad giant's European dominance, are worried that bashing the goliath can go too far. “It is irresponsible to try and make the Google case seem wider than it actually is,” said Microsoft-backed ICOMP, an organisation representing big businesses that have moaned to the …
Jennifer Baker, 13 Dec 2014

Want the EU to work on making cloud snoop-proof? Speak up, my good 'stakeholder'

The public has less than two weeks to respond to one of the vaguest European Commission consultations ever… but one that will decide where the Commish spends its money. The deadline for submissions to the public consultation on Cloud Computing and Software has been extended by a week to 17 October. But unlike many consultations …
Jennifer Baker, 06 Oct 2014
Rickmote

WORLD+DOG line up to SLAM Google after anti-trust case unveiled

Although EU competition commissioner (and Borgen inspiration) Margrethe Vestager made clear that her decision to slap Google with a statement of objections is about consumers, that hasn't stopped the US firm's Euro detractors queuing up to cheer her decision. Representatives of Fairsearch and ICOMP – both organisations set up to …
Jennifer Baker, 16 Apr 2015
The Register breaking news

European Commission details Five Year Security Plan

The European Commission has revealed some more details of how it intends to get the Stockholm Programme to strengthen security enacted into law by 2014. The Commission promises to strengthen data protection law, make ID theft a criminal offence, introduce new hacking offences, improve the rights of those accused of crimes, make …
John Oates, 20 Apr 2010
Use google.com button

SMACK! EU set to hit Google with 'abuse of dominance' rap

EU digi-chief Gunther H-dot Oettinger poured fuel on rumours that the European Commission will haul Google over the coals with antitrust charges this week - and now it's happened. Backing up comments he made to a German weekly newspaper on Sunday, H-dot Oetti said: “We have to look more critically at the market position and …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Apr 2015
Mexico

Going on holiday? Mexico wants your personal data

European airlines could soon be forced to break citizens’ right to privacy if they want to fly to Mexico. Mexican authorities have decided to implement a "passenger name record" (PNR) scheme from 1 April. PNR data encompasses all the information airlines hold on their passengers – from credit card details, phone numbers and …
Jennifer Baker, 11 Mar 2015
Bank vault

UK data watchdog: Massive fines won't keep data safe

The UK’s data protection watchdog has said issuing fines "left, right and centre" is not the way to ensure privacy. However, Information Commissioner Christopher Graham added that this doesn’t mean his office shouldn’t have those exact powers at its disposal. “The obligation laid on data protection authorities always to fine …
Jennifer Baker, 22 May 2015
Google UK office logos

You! GOOGLE! HAND OVER the special SAUCE, says Senate (of France)

Google’s European woes continued on Thursday as the French senate voted to force the search monster to expose its algorithm and highlight rivals on its welcome page. The amendment, proposed by Catherine Morin-Desailly, which would force Google to offer at least three competing search engines on its homepage and explain how …
Jennifer Baker, 17 Apr 2015
flag.Germany

Steelie Neelie orders Germany to sort out its mobe charges – or EU will go FULL LEGAL

Steelie Neelie has warned Germany – for the fifth time – that if it doesn’t sort out its proposals on mobile termination rates, the Commission will take legal action. The European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda may be on her way out, but Neelie Kroes has seemingly reached the end of her tether with the German telecoms …
Jennifer Baker, 21 Oct 2014

New Euro digi chief says he WILL consider an EU-wide copyright law

Europe’s new digi chief Gunther H. Oettinger has said that he could have a first draft of new copyright laws within six months. Oetti made the comments to the German Bundestag committee on the Digital Agenda on Tuesday, but with the German barely through the door of his new office at the European Commission – he officially …
Jennifer Baker, 06 Nov 2014
The European flag

Web daddy Tim Berners-Lee calls for net neutrality in Europe

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, HTTP server visionary and founder of the World Wide Web Foundation, has penned a blog post on the European Commission web site titled Net neutrality is critical for Europe's future. Sir Tim defines net neutrality as “ the principle that each ‘packet’ of data must be treated equally by the network” and says …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Feb 2015

'Why don't you buy from foreign sites?' asks Commish, snapping on the gloves

The European Commission is to probe the e-commerce sector to find out why people aren’t buying across borders. According to the Commish, despite half of all EU consumers shopping online, only around 15% of them bought from a seller based in another EU country. Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager suspects that: “It’s …
Jennifer Baker, 27 Mar 2015

EU: Competition Commissioner met Google chief Schmidt

The European Commission is remaining tight-lipped about what was said in a meeting yesterday between Google supremo Eric Schmidt and Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. A Commission spokesman would only confirm that the meeting had taken place, but would not reveal the substance. But that hasn’t stopped rampant …
Jennifer Baker, 03 Mar 2015
Microsoft-themed Monopoly board

Microsoft kills its Euro pane in the a**: The 'would you prefer Chrome?' window

Fresh Windows PCs in Europe will no longer offer to install Google Chrome and other web browsers rivaling Internet Explorer. That change, quietly announced on a Microsoft support website, marks the end of a European Commission-mandated period during which users had to be offered a choice in web browser when they installed …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Dec 2014
The Register breaking news

Commission to Euro biz: Show us your breaches

EU businesses could be required to flag up any breaches of their "network and information systems" under a new "strategic" action plan to combat cyber security problems across the trading bloc. The European Commission is planning to draft new laws on cyber security that could introduce a requirement for businesses to report when …
OUT-LAW.COM, 25 Jul 2012

Stop selling spyware to despotic regimes, beg MEPs

The EU’s laws on snooping technology exports must be updated in light of the Regin breach, according to some MEPs. It has recently been been revealed that Regin super-spyware was used to successfully hack Belgian telco company Belgacom as far back as 2010. Belgacom counts the European Parliament and the European Commission among …
Jennifer Baker, 27 Nov 2014
Fight sticker

Top US privacy bod: EU should STOP appeasing whiny consumers

A top US law enforcement commissioner has claimed European data protection authorities are too worried about helping consumers instead of robustly enforcing privacy laws. Speaking at CPDP2015 in Brussels, Julie Brill, privacy commissioner for the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) defended the US approach to protecting privacy …
Jennifer Baker, 23 Jan 2015
Lufthansa plane

Europe rubber-stamps IBM Lufthansa outsourcing gig

The European Commission has given IBM the green light to splash $1.25bn on Lufthansa's tech infrastructure wing. As part of the deal, which includes an outsourcing agreement, the airline will split its subsidiary, Lufthansa Systems, into three companies, offloading the infrastructure division to Big Blue. "The Commission …
Kat Hall, 18 Dec 2014
The European flag

Dawn raids on Orange over TROMBONING allegations were fine, rules EU court

The European Commission was perfectly entitled to conduct dawn raids against Orange, according to the EU General Court. The inspections took place between 9 and 13 July 2013 on four of Orange’s premises as part of an investigation into allegations that Orange was abusing a dominant market position. However, Orange cried foul and …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Nov 2014
willy wonka oompa loompa

More oompa loompas needed to push Google's EU agenda

Google and Facebook are throwing people and money at the EU in an effort to ensure more laws go their way. Both companies are recruiting new policy wonks to influence law-makers in Brussels. Google is after two public policy and government relations analysts – one to work on the European Commission and the Council, the other to …
Jennifer Baker, 13 May 2015

Is new EU digi chief H-dot Oettinger starting a war with his boss?

Things not to do in the first week of your new job: slag off the boss. It seems this memo bypassed the EU's new digital chief Gunther H-dot Oettinger. The new European Commission structure is different to the one Oetti is used to. The new Commission, which took over on 1 November, has seven senior vice presidents in charge of 20 …
Jennifer Baker, 06 Nov 2014
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazon's tax deal in Luxembourg BROKE the LAW, says EU

Amazon’s sweetheart tax deal with Luxembourg is illegal, according to the European Commission. The Commission’s preliminary findings indicate that the deal, struck back in 2003, constitutes illegal state aid. Since then, Amazon has been paying taxes worth only 4-6 per cent of its operating expenses - an arrangement that the …
Jennifer Baker, 16 Jan 2015

Commish: Stop playing that Spanish jazz, Orange. Wait until we’ve done our homework

Orange’s plans to take over Jazztel in Spain could hit a wall as the European Commission begin an investigation to determine if the merger is in line with EU competition law. Both Orange and Jazztel operate fixed telco networks in Spain and the planned takeover would reduce the number of nationwide providers from four to three …
Jennifer Baker, 04 Dec 2014

'We STRONGLY DISAGREE' that we done WRONG, says Google

Google has 10 weeks to respond to Brussels' preliminary finding that the world's largest ad broker abused its dominant position in the search market in Europe. However, the company was quick to attack competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager's decision to issue a Statement of Objections against Google on Wednesday. Mountain …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Apr 2015
The Register breaking news

European Parliament votes to fight ITU internet power grab

The European Parliament has passed a resolution protesting plans by the International Telecommunications Union to seize regulatory control of the internet. "[The European Parliament] believes that the ITU, or any other single, centralised international institution, is not the appropriate body to assert regulatory authority over …
Iain Thomson, 24 Nov 2012
Belgian cricket. Original pic: Simon Blackley

We need copyright reform so Belgians can watch cricket, says MEP

Battle lines are forming over the EU’s promised copyright reforms, with Brussels’ lobbying machine going into overdrive. On Thursday, the European Film Agency Directors (EFAD), a network of directors of 28 film agencies based inside the European Union, begged the EU Commission to drop its plans for a major copyright overhaul, …
Jennifer Baker, 18 Mar 2015
padlock

EU flings €1m at open source security audit wheeze

EU institutions have finally got the memo about it being a good idea to pinpoint and fix security vulnerabilities. Next year the European Parliament has allocated up to €1m for a project to audit free software programs in use at the European Commission (EC) and the EU Parliament in order to find and repair potential weaknesses …
Jennifer Baker, 23 Dec 2014
Slurp

Euro consumers have TOO MUCH choice – telco operators

Three or four market players is plenty, at least according to the GSMA, the association that represents nearly 800 mobile operators. At an event in Brussels this week, GSMA director Anne Bouverot said it was ridiculous that there were nearly 100 players in the EU market while the US does perfectly well with four or five. In …
Jennifer Baker, 12 Dec 2014
Gunther Oettinger, EU digital commissioner. Pic: Götz A. Primke

Gaffe-prone EU digi chief: We still want our single digital market

CeBIT 2015 Following another gaffe-heavy week last week when he compared net neutrality activists to the Taliban, Europe’s digi-commish Günther H. Oettinger was back on firmer ground today at CeBIT. The EU Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society gave a keynote speech at the international conference, which describes itself as “100 …
Jennifer Baker, 16 Mar 2015
Google faces antitrust charges in the European Union

REVEALED: The 19 firms whose complaints form EU's antitrust case against Google

A new report says the companies whose complaints have been included in the European Union's formal antitrust charges against Google have been revealed, even though the European Commission is still keeping the official list of complainants under wraps. According to the report by Reuters, at least 30 companies filed complaints …
Neil McAllister, 27 Apr 2015

EU operators PLEAD for MERCY, may get roaming rates cut ‘reprieve’

Policymakers are set to propose “no change” in wholesale telecoms roaming rates in the EU as part of a review of the system in 2016, according to a report. The Financial Times said it had seen a draft proposal from the Italian presidency of the European Council which indicated “long-fought proposals on roaming and spectrum …
OUT-LAW.COM, 25 Sep 2014

EU Commish mulls new bloc-wide rule on web content takedowns

The European Commission is considering creating an EU-wide complaint procedure for people whose websites are wrongly blocked by internet service providers. Justice Commissioner Věra Jourová said in a letter that “the Commission is analysing the need for a specific initiative on notice-and-action procedures to bring legal …
Jennifer Baker, 08 Apr 2015
flag.Spain

Orange squeezed over Jazztel buy: Sell your Spanish FTTH network or else

Europe’s competition chief has OKed Orange’s plans to take over Jazztel in Spain, but only subject to a shitload large number of conditions. Orange has promised to sell off its independent Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) network in 13 urban districts in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla and Málaga — representing 800,000 buildings. …
Jennifer Baker, 20 May 2015

Leaked doc: Europe's justice chiefs forming plans to cosy up to ISPs

Europe’s justice ministers appear to be forming plans to make it easier to access ISPs' data, as part of a series of proposals intended to limit the spread of online radicalising material. The proposals were revealed when an internal document for discussion at the Justice and Home Affairs Council in Riga (on 29, 30 January) was …
Jennifer Baker, 23 Jan 2015
Sad cloud

EU governments are CRAP at cloud, moans Brussels' infosec watchdog

European governments haven’t got a clue how to implement cloud services. So say the EU's own cybersecurity experts. ENISA (the European Network and Information Security Agency) has released a report on the adoption of something it calls “Gov Cloud”, defined as “a deployment model to build and deliver services to state agencies ( …
Jennifer Baker, 28 Feb 2015

EU digi-chief clashes with robo-veep over geo-blocking

Gaffe-prone Commissioner Günther H-dot Oettinger is at it again. In statements to the German press (he rarely talks to anyone else), Oetti directly mocked his boss Andrus Ansip’s desire to end geo-blocking. Former Estonian prime minister Ansip – known as The Robot back home – has made eradication of geo-blocking his prime goal. …
Jennifer Baker, 31 Mar 2015
Uber - living the dream

German court slaps down Uber's ride-sharing app

A German court has slapped Uber with a nationwide ban on its ride-sharing app Uberpop – again. The ruling means the app is no longer allowed, as it enables users to be ferried around by drivers who do not hold the requisite professional licences – a requirement under German law. The company's other services are still permitted …
Kat Hall, 19 Mar 2015

Nothing says 'Taliban' quite like net neutrality, eh, EU Digi Commish?

Comment Gaffe-prone Gunther is at it again. This time the EU Digi-Commissioner Gunther H-dot Oettinger has described the enforcement of "uniform" net neutrality as "Taliban-like". Unsurprisingly digital rights activists have not been pleased at being compared with a fundamentalist organisation judged by the UN to be responsible for the …
Jennifer Baker, 10 Mar 2015

Slurping air passengers' private details not great for privacy, concede EU data bods

Despite calls for increased monitoring of airline passengers after the Charlie Hebdo murders, EU data protection authorities have repeated that the indiscriminate nature of passenger name record data processing means it is likely to undermine EU citizens' right to privacy. The Article 29 Working Party (WP29), made up of the 28 …
Jennifer Baker, 06 Feb 2015

Likes of Google to have undue influence in Brussels, say activists

The EU is in danger of signing away its ability to regulate major US companies - for instance Google and Facebook - according to lobbyists opposed to the way transatlantic trade talks are going. Round eight of negotiations on TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement) is taking place in Brussels this …
Jennifer Baker, 05 Feb 2015
Facebook WhatsApp

EU blesses $19bn Facebook-Whatsapp marriage

The European Commission has approved the merger of Facebook and WhatsApp, ruling they are not close competitors – despite both offering free online messaging. After sending out lengthy questionnaires to the pair's rivals, the commission gave the nod to the proposed deal. Competition chief Joaquín Almunia explained: “While …
Jennifer Baker, 03 Oct 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
Micro SIM Card

Mobile SIM chip-makers 'will be fined by EU' for price-fixing, say sources

EU antitrust regulators are set to fine Samsung, Philips, Infineon Technologies and other tech firms for fixing the prices of chips used in mobile SIM cards, familiar folks whispered to Reuters. The European Commission kicked off a probe of the chips used in telly smart cards, passports, mobiles and ATM cards all the way back in …
Use google.com button

Google MENACED by Russian probe over 'abuse of dominance' gripe

Russia's answer to Google, Yandex, has filed an official complaint against the American ad giant to the Russian competition authorities. Yandex claims the US ad slinger is abusing its position and forcing mobile phone manufacturers to include Google search on the home screen of all Android devices. The complaint comes as Yandex' …
Jennifer Baker, 18 Feb 2015

EU digi bods brace selves for 'charm' of Microsoft, Uber et al

Europe’s digital agenda commissioners will be knee-deep in lobbyists this week. Thanks to its new transparency register, the European Commission is making all of its meetings public. This week, digital economy and society veep, Andrus Ansip, is scheduled to meet: David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer; Brad Smith, …
Jennifer Baker, 20 Jan 2015
The rather phallic tracks of the balloons seen on spacenear.us

EU Digital Single Market plan: We will compromise fast, and compromise early

The European Commission has finally unveiled its big Digital Single Market Strategy (DSM). Despite leak after leak over recent weeks, Digi Commissioners Andrus “The Robot” Ansip and Gunther H-dot Oettinger took to the podium together (for the first time) with due pomp and ceremony on Wednesday. But what they presented was a …
Jennifer Baker, 06 May 2015

Don't use Charlie Hebdo to justify Big Brother data-slurp – Data protection MEP

The European Parliament’s data protection supremo says calls from national leaders to monitor all airline passengers are “playing into terrorists' hands”. German MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht, who heads the Parliament’s overhaul of EU data protection laws, described the plans for mass storage of PNR (passenger name record) data as …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Jan 2015

EU creative collection agencies want YouTube et al to pay their wages

Collecting agencies for audio-visual creators on Monday urged the European Commission to protect their income in the planned new copyright law and to make online platforms (among others) pay for it. The Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA), the association of European collective management organisations, called on digi …
Jennifer Baker, 24 Mar 2015