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Articles about European Commission

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 …
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 A ruling by the European Court of Justice in May ordered Google to remove links from its search results that went to outdated or …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
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

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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

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

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
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
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
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
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

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
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
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
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 …

EU dangles $6bn threat over Google in endless search abuse probe

Formal charges will be meted out to Google if its latest offer to tweak its search engine in Europe fails to satisfy regulators, Brussels stressed today. The American web giant is accused of abusing its dominance position in search – for example, allegedly unfairly burying its rivals way down in its web search results. The …
Kelly Fiveash, 23 Sep 2014

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 …
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

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
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

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
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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
Woman looks immensely happy while staring into blank screen of unplugged monitor

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 …