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O2 XDA Argon

EU regulators quiz mobe industry over Hong Kong group's new bid

EU competition regulators are going to the mobile ISP industry with new concessions from Hong Kong firm Hutchison Whampoa, as it seeks approval for its $1bn bid for O2 Ireland. Sources whispered to Reuters that the conglomerate has offered the European Commission a new deal for Telefonica's Irish company after an initial …

UK regulators: We will be CHECKING UP on banks' IT systems

UK regulators are to conduct a review later this year on how banks and building societies are managing the risk of IT outages affecting their business. Details of the review were contained in the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA's) new business plan (52-page/4.56MB PDF). The FCA will undertake the review together with the Bank …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Apr 2014
Suitcase bulging with cash

Juniper under bribery investigation by US regulators

Packet-pusher Juniper Networks is under investigation by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission, it has emerged. The regulators are pursuing the company over "possible violations" of the anti-bribery US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the company revealed in its 10-Q filing with the SEC on Thursday …
Jack Clark, 09 Aug 2013

Qualcomm pleads innocence as Chinese regulators turn the screw

Mobile CPU giant Qualcomm has released a lengthy statement denying any wrong-doing after Chinese media claimed regulators have “substantial evidence” in an anti-monopoly investigation which could lead to over $US1bn in fines for the firm. Qualcomm revealed at the end of November that China’s National Development and Reform …
Phil Muncaster, 17 Dec 2013

Chinese regulators probe Qualcomm over 'unfair pricing' claims

China's antitrust regulator has accused chipmaker Qualcomm of abusing its market dominance and overcharging customers, charges that could see the firm hit with record fines of millions of dollars. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said that it started an investigation into the company last year after …
management regulation2

Top patent troll sues US regulators for interfering with its business

MPHJ Technology, one of the most notorious patent trolls in America, has filed a lawsuit against the US Federal Trade Commission, claiming that the agency's attempts to interfere with its business are in violation of its constitutional rights. The obscurely named MPHJ is a patent-assertion entity (that's troll to you and me) …
Neil McAllister, 14 Jan 2014
troll

US regulators seek public input on plan to investigate patent trolls

The US Federal Trade Commission is moving ahead – slowly – with plans to investigate the ways and practices of so-called Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs): patent trolls, to you and me. On Friday, the FTC voted unanimously to seek public comments on a proposal to gather information from "approximately 25 companies that are in the …
Neil McAllister, 28 Sep 2013
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 …
The Register breaking news

Want a fast, private Wi-Fi channel? Fine, go fight the regulators

Ruckus Wireless has been helping satellite comms biz Globalstar prove that its model for a privately licensed Wi-Fi channel is technically perfect, even if it remains legislatively difficult. Globalstar would like to create a private band for Wi-Fi (one that it can charge top-dollar for) using the spectrum it has failed to fill …
Bill Ray, 11 Jun 2013

Be the next tech hotshot – by staying the hell away from regulators

Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things – that's Adam Smith, by the way. I'm often left rather scratching my head as I read the latest …
Tim Worstall, 15 May 2014
The Register breaking news

US and EU regulators will give Googorola the nod soon

Google’s planned purchase of Motorola Mobility looks likely to get clearance from US and EU authorities, possibly as early as next week, according to sources within the investigation. The EU has been taking its time to review the competition aspects of Google 's merger with the ailing handset manufacturer – there’s been a lot of …
Iain Thomson, 10 Feb 2012
The Register breaking news

Canadian regulators welcome US Bitcoin refugees with open arms

Canadian Bitcoin traders will not be clobbered by laws similar to those being used to target virtual currency exchanges in America, according to a leaked letter from the country's financial investigations unit. The Register has seen a letter from the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) which …
Jasper Hamill, 20 May 2013
The Register breaking news

Chinese regulators still reviewing Googorola slurp

China's Ministry of Commerce said this morning that its antitrust bureau is still looking into Google's bid to slurp Motorola Mobility. "The investigations and reviews are still under way. Any news will be disclosed in a timely manner," MoC spokesman Shen Danyang said at a press conference, according to China.org.cn. The deal …

US trading, energy watchdogs asked: Does Google's Skybox gobble pass the sniff test?

Consumer advocacy group Public Citizen has asked US energy and trading regulators to probe Google’s acquisition of satellite firm Skybox Imaging, which it claims could give big players in commodities trading an unfair advantage. In a letter to the authorities, Public Citizen said that banks and hedge funds already used the intel …
Lyft cars

Fares fair, says New York: Lyft finally gets in gear for the Big Apple

Ride-sharing service Lyft has agreed to a deal with New York officials to allow the company to open shop in New York City. The company said that as of 7pm local time on Friday it would launch in Brooklyn and Queens, two weeks after a last-minute legal threat from the state Attorney General forced the company to hit the brakes …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jul 2014
The Register breaking news

UK regulators eye up Facebook's $1bn Instagram bid

Facebook's bid to buy photo-sharing app Instagram for $1bn will be probed by the UK's Office of Fair Trading, according to the watchdog, which invited informal submissions of comment on Friday. The dominant social network's takeover plan of Instagram has concerned the OFT, which is worried that the photo app market could be …
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Jun 2012

Finance CIOs sweat as regulators prepare to probe aging mainframes

Could the watchful eyes of regulators soon come to rest on the old and often creaking IT systems that run the back offices of the UK’s leading banks? Among CIOs in the sector, there’s a palpable concern that they will. It’s no secret, after all, that most retail banks rely on decades-old technology for their core banking systems …
arrow pointing up

French regulators investigate Oracle over Itanium pullout

The Autorité de la concurrence, the French national competition authority, has opened up an investigation into Oracle's decision to stop software development for future versions of Intel's Itanium processor family. HP filed the complaint against Oracle with the French authorities quietly back in July 2011 shortly after the …

EU privacy A-Team tells Google: Get a grip and obey OUR laws

The EU's advisory panel on privacy and data protection has warned Google to comply with Europe's laws in an unusually strongly worded statement. The Article 29 Working Party vowed to investigate if Google refused to abide by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling – Google Spain v Gonzalez et al – that decreed Google was not …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Jun 2014
Dr Dre Beats Solo

Forgot About Dre? Not us. Euro bods give nod to Apple and Beats deal

The European Commission has given its official blessing to the $3bn acquisition by Apple of headphone manufacturer Beats. After considering whether the link-up fitted in with merger regulations, the antitrust regulators decided the two firms were sufficiently different that there was no concerns about competition. In a …
Jasper Hamill, 28 Jul 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

Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network

Google apparently isn't the only company thinking about getting into the wireless networking game. Cable TV and internet giant Comcast has hinted that it's interested luring away some of the mobile carriers' business, too. In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange commission on Tuesday, Comcast said that it plans to …
Neil McAllister, 09 Apr 2014

Level 3 gobbles rival TW Telecom in $5.7bn deal (that's 5 Instagrams)

Internet backbone provider Level 3 has bought its competitor TW Telecom in a cash and stock mega-deal valued at $40.86 per share. The planned $5.7bn merger, if waved through by US regulators and shareholders, would further consolidate the telco market stateside. "We believe this is a financially compelling and very strategic …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Jun 2014
flag.France

French Senate passes anti-Amazon amendment

France's Senate has passed an amendment to the “Lang Law”, a 1981 statute fixing the price of books, to prohibit online booksellers offering discounting and shipping books for free. La Cinquième République and Amazon have been fighting over this issue since 2008. Last year, things flared up again when an amendment to the Lang …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Jun 2014
The Register breaking news

German data regulators move to tighten IP address laws

Passing along IP addresses of web visitors to a third party without their permission could become illegal in Germany. According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, data protection authorities in Lower Saxony have already targeted sites who depend on IP addresses for online advertising. The Lower Saxony authorities recently …
Jan Libbenga, 28 Feb 2011
channel

Microsoft's Novell patent cartel dodges German regulators

A Microsoft-led consortium is still set to buy 882 Novell patents. Reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated. PC World reported here that plans to create CPTN Holdings have been withdrawn, with the publication citing information from the website of the German Federal Cartel Office. CPTN withdrew its application to …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Jan 2011

Chinese mobe-makers in pincer movement to corner Qualcomm

China’s mobile phone industry has turned up the heat on Qualcomm after submitting a damning report to government regulators in an on-going antitrust investigation into the US chip giant. China’s Communications Industry Association, consulted 20 out of its 30 key member companies before submitting its findings to the National …
Phil Muncaster, 11 Feb 2014

Twitter WLTM UK-based pro lobbyist with GSOH - is ready for ads

As Twitter prepares to become an ad-stuffed free content network, the company is hiring a lobbyist for its UK office to "manage" public policy in Europe. It's the first such Blighty-based role advertised by the micro-blogging site and comes just months after Twitter floated on Wall Street. Responsibilities for the post include …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Jan 2014

Bitcoin ban row latest: 'Unstable, loved by criminals' Yup, that's the US dollar – Colorado rep

A US Congressman has proposed a ban on the American dollar to mock colleagues who are campaigning against Bitcoin. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) said the American dollar bill, much like the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, was "unregulated and unstable," and had been used for illicit criminal activity. Polis, a former web entrepreneur …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Mar 2014
channel_partners_deal_handshake

Lenovo banks on $1 BEELLION Moto turnaround in SIX quarters

Lenovo boss Yang Yuanqing has boasted that he can wipe Motorola Mobility’s $1bn-a-year (£600m) losses in just six quarters once his firm takes the helm at the handset maker. Yang told Bloomberg on the sidelines of Mobile World Congress this week that he could make the turnaround without the need to cut any jobs. “Don’t be …
Phil Muncaster, 27 Feb 2014
GoPro HD Hero

Strap-on gumble biz GoPro files for stock market debut in US

Wearable camera-maker GoPro has filed with US regulators to raise at least $111m in an initial public offering. The firm, which markets its rugged wee point-and-shoots to sports enthusiasts, is breaking the mould for startups that want to go public by actually being profitable. The firm earned $60.6m in 2013, after it almost …
Great Wall of China

Microsoft Chinese burn ENIGMA: Anti-trust agents in 'sudden visit' to offices

Four of Microsoft's offices in China were "visited" by antitrust regulators on Monday, but neither the software and devices giant nor the Chinese government has explained why. "We aim to build products that deliver the features, security and reliability customers expect, and we will address any concerns the government may have …
Neil McAllister, 28 Jul 2014
GoPro HD Hero

Former Microsoft exec Bates bounces to GoPro

Portable video camera maker GoPro has made former Microsoft executive Tony Bates its president in the run up to its IPO. The onetime Microsoft exec will report directly to GoPro's chief executive Nicholas Woodman, GoPro announced on Wednesday. The firm filed with US regulators in late May to raise as much as $111m in an IPO. …
Jack Clark, 04 Jun 2014

David Cameron wants mobe network roaming INSIDE the UK

Silly Season has started early. The Times reports that the Prime Minister is backing a plan to force operators to UK customers to roam between networks in the UK. This means that network subscribers who lose their signal while in the boondocks could piggyback onto the signal of another network. Supposing there is one. The …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jun 2014

Facebook Australia's 'small company' status makes it a small target

There's an old joke about failed CEOs, which runs “how do you create a small company? Give a big one to CEO X”. Facebook has found a new wrinkle: you build a small company merely by getting regulators to agree that it's a small company. Apparently in order to manage its corporate reporting requirements in Australia, that's just …
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Vodafone brings African tech to Europe

Vodafone is to launch mobile-money-for-the-masses service M-Pesa in Romania, which introduces and interesting challenge for the European telcos and banks who have spent a decade wrangling over mobile money and got nowhere. M-Pesa was launched in Kenya under the stewardship of Nick Hughes of Vodafone, initially as a corporate …
Simon Rockman, 01 Apr 2014

Standby consumes MORE POWER THAN CANADA: IEA

The International Energy Agency (IEA) is worried that the world's addiction to gadgets that sip electricity in standby mode use more power than is necessary or sensible, and wants manufacturers to try harder to cut power consumption. The agency says inefficient “network standby” modes are common: consumers think a device has …
channel_partners_deal_handshake

AT&T to buy DirecTV in $49bn mega-gobble

US telecoms giant AT&T has announced plans to acquire leading US satellite TV provider DirecTV in a deal valued at $48.5bn. AT&T already offers TV via its U-Verse service, which runs over its terrestrial broadband internet lines. The company says it will continue to offer this service once the DirecTV acquisition closes. For …
Neil McAllister, 19 May 2014
Canary Wharf at night

Bank of England plans to shove cyber-microscope up nation's bankers

The Bank of England today announced it plans to penetrate Blighty’s banks to test the security of their critical computer systems. Speaking to the British Bankers’ Association, the BoE's exec director of resolution, Andrew Gracie launched CBEST [PDF], a new defence-testing programme that mimics crims who attack crucial networks …
Cat 5 cable

Time Warner merger great for Comcast, but not for anybody else

The merger of the two biggest cable companies in the US has set the markets aflutter, but the government has the final say on whether to allow the deal, and regulators will now be taking a long, stern look at how the deal with change the US TV and broadband market. Under the terms of the merger, Comcast will pay out $45.2bn in …
Iain Thomson, 14 Feb 2014
Uber logo

WORLD LOSES MIND: Uber valued at TEN BEEELLION DOLLARS, Pinterest pegged at $5bn

San Francisco-startup and bane of taxi drivers Uber is in talks for funding that would value the startup at an astronomical $10bn. Despite its increasing trouble with regulators and cabbies, the upstart must still look like a pretty good bet to investors, since it’s hoping to raise a little less than $1bn from private equity …

Ex-Autonomy boss Mike Lynch goes nuclear: Claims HP 'misleads' its own shareholders

Mike Lynch, former chief of HP-owned Autonomy, tossed an explosive shareholder letter onto the internet today – just hours before HP's annual investors' meeting in Santa Clara, California. The scathing missive alleges Hewlett-Packard has been "misleading" its shareholders about the reasons behind the computer giant's $8.8bn …
Jack Clark, 19 Mar 2014
Video

Is there too much sex and violence on TV?

British television's 9pm watershed is 50 years old this month, and TV watchdog Ofcom has published figures showing that while it's still relevant in protecting kiddies from the worst televisual excesses, viewers are increasingly tolerant of sex, violence and bad language. The watershed ensures there's a non-abrupt transition to …
Lester Haines, 04 Jul 2014
Night scene of bank station in central london

Barclays Bank probes 'client data sold to rogue City traders' breach

Barclays Bank has launched an investigation following a reported security breach involving thousands of confidential customer files. The Mail on Sunday took delivery of a memory stick containing personal details of 2,000 Barclays customers from a whistleblower. The files reportedly contained passport and national insurance …
John Leyden, 10 Feb 2014

Wells Fargo gathers bank 'n' gov bigwigs to discuss Bitcoin 'rules'

America's biggest bank, Wells Fargo, has called together finance execs, virtual currency experts and US government officials to talk about the "rules of engagement" when it comes to virtual money Bitcoin. The bank's anti-money laundering chief, Jim Richards, has started a group to investigate potential Bitcoin services or …
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
David Miranda and Glenn Greenwald

Soghoian & Greenwald tell EU bigwigs: Fight state snooping on mobe networks NOW

Politicians and regulators in Europe need to decide whether they want a secure mobile phone system or something their own police agencies - as well as spy agencies in the US, China and elsewhere - are able to easily tap into, according to a renowned security and privacy expert. Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist of the …
John Leyden, 19 Dec 2013
Uber logo

Uber kindly agrees not to price gouge during disasters

Taxi-killing car service Uber has struck a deal with New York State officials to prevent runaway service charges. State Attorney-General Eric Schneiderman said that the company had agreed to impose a cap on ride prices in the event of an emergency. Because Uber uses a sliding scale based on demand for its service, a natural …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Jul 2014
An Amazon Prime Air drone

FAA shoots down delivery by drone plans

The United States' Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) doesn't mention Amazon Prime Air, but it's intentions look pretty clear: toy aircraft, including the remote control quadcopters mooted by Jeff Bezos in a December 2013 interview with CBS, aren't for commercial purposes. As readers will recall, Bezos sparked equal measures …
Handshake

Comcast Corp to merge with Time Warner Cable in MONSTER $45bn deal

Comcast Corp plans to merge with Time Warner Cable in an all-stock deal priced at $45.2bn. The move will bring together the two biggest cable outfits in the US, if the takeover is waved through by regulators in the country. Comcast said it hoped to officially tie the knot with Time Warner Cable by the end of this year. The …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Feb 2014