Articles about European Commission

The European flag

Europe may ask Herr Google: Would you, er, snap off your search engine? Pretty please

The European Parliament will reportedly consider pressuring, say, ad giant Google to snap off its search engine and move it away from its biz operations. A draft motion, seen by the Financial Times, calls for the "unbundling [of] search engines from other commercial services." The motion has the support of the two main blocs in …
Iain Thomson, 21 Nov 2014
Holiday tech

Booking.com smacked by EU competition bods. Yeah, yeah, yeah

Booking.com has promised three European countries it will stop blocking other hotel and holiday deal sites, following an EU investigation. Competition authorities in Sweden, Italy and France have accepted assurances offered by the slumber search site that it will no longer force hotels to give it lower prices than everyone else …
Jennifer Baker, 22 Apr 2015

Passions run high in EU parliament debate over air passengers' privacy

MEPs are massively split on whether or not to hand over air passengers’ personal data to security authorities. Members of the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee debated the planned PNR (passenger name record) law that would involve storing all the information collected by airlines about passengers – including …
Jennifer Baker, 04 Jun 2015
The track of K6RPT-11 on aprs.fi

EU-US safe harbour talks are lingering just outside port, says US

In a visit to Brussels this week, US Under Secretary Catherine Novelli told reporters that an agreement on a revised Safe Harbor framework was just weeks away. But the European Commissioner responsible for data protection, Vera Jourova, said there were still obstacles to be overcome. The Safe Harbor agreement is a legally …
Jennifer Baker, 05 Jun 2015
chart

European Commission to cough €12m for software badnesses

The European Commission must pay software firm Systran €12 million in damages for infringing its copyright when it asked other companies to work on Systran's software, the EU's General Court has ruled. Systran created a specially adapted version of its Systran-Unix machine translation software for the Commission, calling it EC- …
OUT-LAW.COM, 18 Dec 2010
eBay

eBay sides with Google in EU competition case? Only if you cherry-pick

Update eBay has come galloping to Google’s rescue in its EU anti-trust case... if you define a “market” in the way the Chocolate Factory wants. eBay chief executive John Donahoe told the Financial Times that in the shopping sector it is a major competitor to Google, thus backing up the Chocolate Factory’s argument that it is not …
Jennifer Baker, 27 Apr 2015
The Register breaking news

European Parliament prepares for crucial ACTA vote

On Thursday the European Parliament's International Trade Committee will vote on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and give its recommendations on whether or not to recommend the controversial treaty. Some votes are already pretty clear: Scottish MEP David Martin's opposition, for example is plain. He is serving as …
Iain Thomson, 21 Jun 2012
Beats Music The Sentence

Take a deep breath, Apple: Europe snaps on gloves for vigorous iTunes stream pat-down

Apple is once again in the headlights of oncoming government regulators, this time over its forthcoming iTunes music-streaming service. Reports from The New York Times and Wall Street Journal cite well-placed sources claiming the Cupertino idiot-tax operation is being scrutinized by the European Commission over its dealings with …
Shaun Nichols, 02 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

EU says dominant Google ILLEGALLY FIDDLES search results

The EU’s chief competition regulator alleged today that Google is illegally abusing its dominant position in the search market. Antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager has now taken the first official step towards fining the ad-slinging search monster. “I am confident that Google has artificially boosted its position in the …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Apr 2015
US Pentagon. Pic: DoD photo by MSgt Ken Hammond, USAF

Respect mah privacy! EU delegation begs US to play nice with data

A delegation of MEPs is in Washington this week to put pressure on the US authorities to respect EU privacy laws. The 11-strong group from the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) is led by British Labour MEP Claude Moraes. He said the Parliament hasn’t forgotten about the National Security Agency (NSA)'s …
Jennifer Baker, 17 Mar 2015
willy wonka oompa loompa

Google meets more EU apparatchiks than anyone else in Brussels

Google tops the list of companies lobbying in Brussels, according to a report published on Wednesday by Transparency International (TI). TI analysed the 4,318 lobby meetings declared by the top tier of European Commission officials between December 2014 and June 2015 and found the Chocolate Factory came out on top for individual …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Jun 2015

China gets free pass from EU commish as telco probe dropped

The EU has decided to make friends with China despite earlier worries that it may have been giving an illegal boost to telco manufacturers. On Monday, the European Commission decided to drop an investigation into alleged illegal subsidies and dumping of telecommunications equipment by Chinese exporters. Following “intensive …
Jennifer Baker, 20 Oct 2014
Two teenage girls - one whispering in other's ear

Commish: Pssst, wanna see that Google chargesheet?

Google’s rivals will be given a tiny, sneak preview of the charges ranged against the search monster in the coming weeks, sources have confirmed to The Register. The Commission is, as always, cagey about the details, so complainants in the ongoing anti-trust case will be given only a redacted version of the Statement of …
Jennifer Baker, 17 Jun 2015

Grumpy EU ministers agree shaky pact on new data protection law

EU states' justice ministers seemed to be competing to sound the most disappointed as they grudgingly agreed to move forward on a new data protection law. Although a compromise general approach was reached, most countries found fault with the text of the proposed General Data Protection Regulation – quite a feat considering the …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Jun 2015
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

EU: Explain your tax affairs. Google, Amazon, Facebook: Mmm... nah

Amazon, Facebook and Google are among those who have been invited to a pow-wow with MEPs over their tax practices – but not all plan to show up. MEPs said on Tuesday that it's regrettable that the multinationals “seem unable to find time to discuss their tax practices in public before the European Parliament’s Tax Rulings …
Jennifer Baker, 10 Jun 2015
Amazon Kindle 2

Top Euro court ends mega ebook VAT slash in France, Luxembourg

Your Kindle purchases are about to get dearer following a decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that France and Luxembourg can no longer charge a reduced rate of VAT for ebooks. Both France and Luxembourg set reduced rates of value-added tax for ebooks in 2012, and the European Commission took issue with this, hence …
Jennifer Baker, 06 Mar 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

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

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
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
Threesome photo via Shutterstock

EU threesome promises good times for data protection reform

Things can only get better. That’s the message from all parties negotiating the new EU Data Protection Regulation. Following the first so-called trilogue meeting on Wednesday, negotiators representing the European Parliament, the European Commission and the council of national justice ministers said that citizens’ data would be …
Jennifer Baker, 24 Jun 2015

MEPs, Council still deadlocked over EU telco laws

After three years of negotiations, the proposals to overhaul Europe’s critical telecoms rules could come to nothing, with political power blocks seemingly deadlocked. The so-called Telco Package has been shorn of many of its original proposals and has now been whittled down to just two major issues: net neutrality and roaming …
Jennifer Baker, 03 Jun 2015
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
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
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
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

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
Google faces antitrust charges in the European Union

Google on Google: The carefully collated anti-trust truth

Google doesn’t always take the threat of anti-trust charges too seriously. After the Wall Street Journal implied that the FTC opted for less aggressive action against Google because of political pressure, Google responded with references to a laughing baby, and by personally attacking the newspaper’s owner. After all, when you’ …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Jun 2015
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

'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

Three-way EU Big Data privacy wrestling match kicks off

The EU will take a big step towards finalising measures to protect its citizens' privacy today, as negotiators from member states, the European Commission, and the European Parliament will come together for the first time to thrash out an agreement on the EU’s planned data protection law. The Parliament agreed its position on …
Jennifer Baker, 24 Jun 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

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
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

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
Android for cars

Disconnect app maker runs to EU to moan about Android

Privacy app maker Disconnect has filed a formal complaint against Google with the European Commission, adding to the Chocolate Factory’s EU competition woes. “Disconnect charges Google with abusing its dominant market position by banning Disconnect’s app, a revolutionary technology that protects users from invisible tracking and …
Jennifer Baker, 02 Jun 2015

'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
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
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