Articles about Regulators

Ashlee Vance, Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is shaping our Future

Fear not, humanity – Saint Elon has finished part two of his world-saving 'master plan'

Solar-panel roofs on cars, compact SUVs, and high-passenger-density urban transport are all part of Elon Musk's self-titled "master plan, part deux" for the world. The SpaceX and Tesla Motors supremo has just finished writing the second part of his blueprint for the future of humanity. The ultimate goal is sustainability, Musk …
Katyanna Quach, 21 Jul 2016

Whoa! Shanghai Stock Exchange delays $6bn Ingram Micro takeover

Tianjin Tianhai, the Chinese logistics giant, has delayed next week’s shareholder meeting to rubber stamp the $6bn takeover of Ingram Micro as it gathers data requested by the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE). Tianjin Tianhai, owned by the conglomerate HNA Group, revealed in February its intended acquisition of Ingram, the world …
Paul Kunert, 21 Jul 2016
mergers and acquisitions

EMC staffers: We are crashing into Dell within weeks

Staffers at EMC and its subsidiaries are to get Dell email addresses from the start of next month as the proposed mega buy edges closer, insiders have told The Register. EMC shareholders last night approved the $62.4bn bid – somewhat lower than the original $67bn offer due to a slide in VMware’s share price – and Chinese anti- …
Paul Kunert, 20 Jul 2016

EU Net Neutrality debate heats up as Tim Berners-Lee weighs in

It's hard to work up a good lump in the throat in sympathy for a bureaucrat, but staff at the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) probably need just a little: they're going to have to work through 400,000 submissions about Net Neutrality in the EU. Volker Sypli of German telco regulator BNetzA …

Handover of US internet control to ICANN officially blocked in Republican policy

The planned transition of the internet's critical technical functions from the US government to a technical body may come under further attack after the Republican Party officially agreed to block it on Monday. The Republican Platform for 2016 [PDF] was formally approved during a chaotic first day of the party's national …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Jul 2016
Raised hands vote

Eat me, Michael: 98% of EMC shareholders back Dell mega-gobble

EMC shareholders have voted overwhelmingly to accept Dell's $60bn plus offer to merge the two companies into a new entity called Dell Technologies. At a special shareholder meeting at EMC's Hopkinton, Massachusetts, headquarters, 98 per cent of those present, representing 78 per cent of the shareholders, voted to approve the …
Iain Thomson, 19 Jul 2016
Opera singers

Opera sells open-source Chromium browser for $600m to Chinese bods

Opera will sell its web browser technology to Chinese investors for $600m after a larger sale worth $1.2bn fell apart. The Norwegian company said in a filing to the Oslo Børs stock exchange that it had agreed to an arrangement that will see the Chinese-backed Golden Brick Capital Management private equity fund take control of …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jul 2016
drone

AT&T: We wanna be a drone company, not just a phone company

Vid AT&T is planning to rapidly expand its use of drones – it can already put one of the gizmos in the air virtually anywhere over continental United States. Speaking at its Shape tech expo in San Francisco on Friday, Art Pregler, AT&T's drone program director, said the telco giant is using the flying gadgets to augment its 20,000 …
Iain Thomson, 16 Jul 2016
tsa_gloves_648

EU waves antitrust claims in Google's face, snarls 'You want some?'

EU antitrust regulators have accused Google of preventing rivals from competing in online advertising and search, deepening its existing probe into anti-competition allegations against the ad-flinger. The antitrust charges are the latest effort to clamp down on the advertising biz, following existing investigations claiming …
Kat Hall, 14 Jul 2016
Gunther Oettinger, EU digital commissioner. Photo by Shutterstock - must mark as editorial use only

EU operators’ 5G manifesto misses the point

Never before have events coincided so neatly to demonstrate the gap between mobile operators’ thinking about 5G, and how future networks will really be deployed for disruptive effect. While Europe’s leading MNOs were presenting a backwards-looking "5G Manifesto" to the European Commission, veiling pleas for net neutrality …
Wireless Watch, 13 Jul 2016

Don't doubt it, Privacy Shield is going to be challenged in court

Analysis The European Union's attempts to make data transfers to the United States compliant with privacy laws are an opaque exercise, so much is obvious, but will they work? It's clear that it is necessary to retain the Transatlantic data trade – in economic terms, but also as a means of preventing the Balkanization of the internet. …

Google slammed over its 'free' school service

Two Swedish researchers have torn into Google's free school service, accusing the online giant of purposefully misleading users in order to continue profiting from the sale of children's data. Maria Lindh and Jan Nolin from the University of Borås have published a research paper [note: paid access] that digs into the policies …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Jul 2016
shutterstock_236128771

'We shall overcome' net neutrality, sing Euro telcos in the key of 5Gs

Europe's telcos have found a reason to shed any ambivalence they had about 5G, waking up with a shared vision that the technology can help them fend off Internet neutrality rules. Even better – for the telcos at least – they've found a willing ear in the person of European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society …
Woman in horse mask takes a selfie. Photo by Shutterstock

'Digital influencers' must disclose paid-for content, says new guidance

Online publishers, bloggers, tweeters and other "digital influencers" must "clearly and prominently" label content they are paid to produce as paid-for promotions, new guidance developed by a body of regulators from around the world has said. The International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN), in work led by …
OUT-LAW.COM, 06 Jul 2016
Lawyer up

Prominent Brit law firm instructed to block Brexit Article 50 trigger

Law firm Mishcon de Reya has been instructed to launch a legal challenge to block Britain from leaving the European Union, in spite of the popular vote to leave the bloc. Solicitors and barristers from Mishcon de Reya are working with Blackstone, Matrix and Monckton Chambers to argue Article 50 of the European Union – the …
Gavin Clarke, 04 Jul 2016
London stock exchange, photo via Shutterstock

London Stock Exchange's German mega-merger: It's a go, despite Brexit

The London Stock Exchange takeover by its German competitor Deutsche Boerse (aka the "Merger of Equals") should still be going forward despite Brexit, but a planned vote by their respective shareholders throws another wildcard into how job cuts are shared between London and Frankfurt. The £12bn deal, announced in March, is due …
Dominic Connor, 04 Jul 2016

Apple, Amazon and Google are screwing us, warns Elizabeth Warren

Potential vice-president and Wall Street critic Elizabeth Warren has accused tech giants Apple, Amazon and Google of undermining competition and using their political clout to kill off efforts to place limits on them. Giving the keynote [PDF] at a one-day conference titled "America's Monopoly Problem," the senator warned: " …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Jun 2016
Dirty VW Beetle in Sleeper

VW finds US$15 BEEELION under the couch to pay off US regulators

Volkswagen has reached a settlement in the USA – or rather, two settlements, since it had to satisfy both federal regulators and the State of California. Its troubles are far from over, and the up-to-US$14.7 billion settlement only covers part of the tab, because it only covers US complaints over the software cheat implemented …

ICO slapped data blabbers with £2m in fines last year

The Information Commissioner's Office doubled the amount of fines it dished out to organisations in breach of data protection rules last year, issuing £2m in penalties, according to its annual report. The hike in fines was mainly due to changes in the rules on nuisance marketing. For the previous year 2014/15, the commission …
Kat Hall, 28 Jun 2016

Big Pharma's trying to kill us, says man with literally millions to lose

Despite having lost its biggest customer, being forced to invalidate thousands of test results, being placed under investigation by the US government for fraud, facing sanctions, having had a testing facility shut down, and having had its CEO's worth cut from $4.5bn to $0, "nothing's gone wrong with Theranos." At least that's …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Jun 2016

Don't laugh: Ofcom's a model for post-Brexit Europe

BREXIT With a stunned Europe absorbing the departure of the second biggest member of the EU, our much-criticised Ofcom could provide a guiding light for new ways of co-operating. Ofcom receives plenty of stick here at The Register: most recently for its handling of OpenReach and its insistence on a four-network mobile market, which …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jun 2016
data

Brexit and data protection: A period of shock and reflection

BREXIT What price the UK's secession from the European Union? “It's far too soon to tell,” has been the sober and much-repeated line of legal and privacy professionals following the United Kingdom's referendum which voiced public opinion to leave the European Union. Speaking to The Register this morning Andrew Joint, commercial …

Top boffins detail how to save the open internet from breaking itself

Analysis The internet could go one of three paths in the next decade, according to an elite group of policymakers: open and global; unequal and uneven; or dangerous and broken. And the path to righteousness? It's contained in the recommendations of the 140-page report that the grandly named Global Commission on Internet Governance ( …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Jun 2016
shutterstock_206717503

Brexit: More cash for mobile operators or consumers? Pick one

One thing the Brexit debate hasn't been short on is hyperbole, with much talk about a potential economic Armageddon triggered by a leave scenario. Certainly there has been no shortage of tech companies loudly nailing their colours to the remain mast. Microsoft and Hewlett Packard Enterprise even went so far as to email staff …
Kat Hall, 20 Jun 2016
Logs and an axe

Hackathons aren't just for hipsters

Glancing up from our smartphones, we catch sight of a world that has suddenly become almost entirely different. Surface appearances haven’t changed very much - buildings and cars and all that infrastructure - but behind the scenes nearly everything has been transformed. Everything … except for business practices. Those haven’t …
Mark Pesce, 16 Jun 2016

Walgreens drops Theranos

Embattled biotech startup Theranos has been dealt another blow as Walgreens is terminating its partnership for testing centers. The drug store chain says that it will be ending the pilot program that has seen Theranos testing centers set up in 40 of its stores in Arizona. The Theranos centers have been offering blood test …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jun 2016
World with light lines representing connectivity connecting various foci on the globe. Pic via Shutterstock

Net neut: Equal treatment of traffic doesn't mean equal service quality for users

Internet service providers (ISPs) do not need to ensure that the quality of service received by internet users is the same across all of their customers to meet their obligations on treating data equally as it passes over their networks, an EU regulatory body has said. The Body of European Regulators of Electronic …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Jun 2016

Air-gapping SCADA systems won't help you, says man who knows

Hoping to keep industrial control systems out of reach of hackers by keeping them air-gapped is a hopeless mission that’s bound for failure, according to a SCADA guru. Isolating SCADA systems as a means of protection has been suggested by some as a defensive tactic after hackers briefly took out elements of the power grid in …
John Leyden, 03 Jun 2016
Error

Trouble originating between chair and keyboard caused most UK breaches

UK data breaches caused by good old human error rose again early this year, accounting for 62 per cent of all data breaches reported to UK data protection watchdogs in the first quarter of 2016. This far outstrips other causes of breaches, such as insecure webpages and hacking, which stands at nine per cent combined. The …
John Leyden, 02 Jun 2016

Theranos CEO: $4.5bn to $0

In a reflection of the complete collapse in confidence of blood-testing company Theranos, its founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes has taken a bit of a hit in her estimated net worth. Having topped the Forbes list of "Richest Self-Made Women" last year with $4.5bn, the publication has re-calculated her value this year to... $0. …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 Jun 2016

Are EU having a laugh? Europe passes hopeless cyber-commerce rules

Analysis The European Commission (EC) has approved a series of ecommerce rules designed to make Europe more competitive online. In true European fashion however, the proposals contain a lengthy series of inconsistent compromises and avoid altogether the most complex policy issues, making them largely worthless. Vice-President for the …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 May 2016
Frustrated accountant puts head in hands. Photo by Shutterstock

Insure against a cyberwhat now? How the heck do we crunch those numbers?

The head of a UK industry insurance organisation has called for the government to create a database where companies would be obliged to “record details of cyber attacks”. Insurers are struggling to assess premiums for newly introduced cyber insurance policies in the absence of background info, according to the head of the …
John Leyden, 24 May 2016
retro cartoon featuring two men fighting against cloud backdrop

US Telecom beats up FCC over investment

Analysis Telco lobbying group US Telecom has fired another broadside at their erstwhile friendly regulator, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), saying the billions telcos make each month isn't enough. This time, in a blog post from its vice president of law and policy, Diane Holland, Big Telco is complaining that the FCC – and …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 May 2016

Theranos bins two years of test results

The controversial blood-testing company Theranos has voided two years of results and issued tens of thousands of corrected reports, further undermining its credibility and raising serious questions over its future. The discarded results were run both on traditional testing machines and on Theranos' "revolutionary" Edison …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 May 2016
management intelligence

Now Suzuki admits cheating

Suzuki has joined the list of car manufacturers that admitted they cheated on emissions tests. "The company apologizes for the fact that we did not follow rules set by the country," said the Japanese company's CEO Osamu Suzuki. An estimated two million cars are affected. The company claims however that it did not intentionally …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 May 2016
Mr Creosote prepares to gobble

Charter-TWC merger official

Charter has finalized its $78.7bn acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House. The company announced on Wednesday that after months of legal wrangling with government regulators, the three-way merger deal to create the second-largest cable carrier in the US was now official. As part of an approval deal with the FCC, " …
Shaun Nichols, 18 May 2016
St Petersburg Russia

Work begins on Russian rival to Android

A Russian company called Open Mobile Platform (Открытая Мобильная Платформа) is developing its own mobile operating system to rival Android. Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov tweeted a link to job ads seeking developers, infrastructure architects, testers and security types. Российский центр разработки новой мобильной …
Darren Pauli, 16 May 2016
You're fired dialog box

Theranos boots COO

Troubled blood-testing company Theranos has booted out its president and chief operating officer and added new board members in an effort to rebuild confidence. Sunny Balwani is "retiring" according to a blog post by the company, just a month after it was revealed federal regulators were considering banning Balwani and CEO …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 May 2016

Lending Club CEO booted out for dodgy deals

The CEO of online money merchant Lending Club, Renaud Laplanche, has been fired, raising more questions over tech startups and how far from business norms - and the law - they have strayed in an effort to make money. Laplanche resigned this week after an internal investigation revealed the company - a lauded startup "unicorn" …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 May 2016
O2 XDA Argon

French maverick sniffs around O2

European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager is expected to block Three UK owner CK Hutchison’s takeover of O2 this week, leaving BT as the dominant player in the UK’s mobile market. BT, lest you forgot, is also the monopoly wholesaler of broadband, and the single largest retail provider of broadband too, with a 31 per cent share …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 May 2016

Steelie Neelie Kroes joins Uber as competition advisor

Controversial taxi app biz Uber has appointed former EU competition and telecoms regulator "Steelie" Neelie Kroes to advise it on, er, competition and regulation. No doubt Kroes' wealth of knowledge of the EU's reams of red tape will help the biz navigate the very regulators Uber has repeatedly butted heads with in the …
Kat Hall, 05 May 2016
top of the bt tower

BT to splash £550m integrating EE. Firm shrugs: Cheap!

BT's £12.5bn gobble of EE will cost the business £550m in integration costs - according to the company's full-year financial results which were given a significant boost thanks to the acquisition. For its full-year results for 2016, revenue increased six per cent to £18.9bn, with profits up 15 per cent to £3bn. Revenue for the …
Kat Hall, 05 May 2016
Aligator eating a crab

FCC gives the nod to $17.7bn US cable mega-merger (no, not that one)

America's internet mall cop the FCC has approved the proposed $17.7bn merger between Altice and US cable provider Cablevision. The deal, which is now only awaiting approval by state regulators, will give the Dutch-based telecoms biz Altice the fourth largest cable network in the US. If the gobble is successful, Cablevision …
Shaun Nichols, 04 May 2016
An Amazon Prime Air drone

FAA rules out fast-tracking drone regulations

America's Federal Aviation Authority has ruled out changing low-altitude airspace rules for drones at least until 2019. Organisations like Amazon, which is dead-set convinced it can handle the economics of drone deliveries if only regulators would do their bidding. Last year, Bezos' bros asked the FAA to segregate airspace …
Mobile banking, image via Shutterstock

Old, complex code could cause another UK banking TITSUP – study

Another major banking outage similar to the RBS disaster back in 2012 is likely to happen again in the UK, given the amount of legacy code in the sector, according to research. The average mission critical banking application has around 600,000 lines of code, according to a study by software firm CAST which analysed systems …
Kat Hall, 03 May 2016
China

Snake oil ads land China's top search engine in trouble

Chinese search engine Baidu is under investigation after a case of dodgy medical advertising hit the headlines. Healthcare advertising is a lucrative line for the company, with a Tencent Technology report last year putting its income from the sector in the vicinity of US$1.5 billion in 2014. Chinese government news agency …

Getting shafted the Silicon Valley way

Recap If there was one standout moment from the latest episode of tech satire Silicon Valley it would have to be when our eponymous hero finds out he is being shafted by his new CEO while in the background a thoroughbred horse is literally shafted by a white stallion. Subtle? No. Hilarious? Yes. And so our favorite valley TV show …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 May 2016

Gumtree 'fesses up to breach and personal information leak

UPDATE eBay's even tattier tat bazaar Gumtree says it's suffered an attack during which users' personal data was encountered by parties unknown and unauthorised. The Register has seen multiple posts in which members of the site report receiving an email with the following text: “We are writing to let you know that some of your …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Apr 2016
'Broken Copyright' StockMonkeys.com

Getty Images flings competition sueball at Google Image Search

Getty Images has announced it will file a competition law complaint against Google with the European Commission. The photo library's beef with Google is that in 2013 it changed its image search service so that it instead of displaying thumbnail images users were instead offered “high res large-format content.” That change, …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Apr 2016

Charter can gobble TWC for $78.7bn ... if it bins monthly download caps

FCC boss Tom Wheeler has put out the terms for his watchdog's approval of Charter Communications' $78bn acquisition of Time Warner Cable. Wheeler said Monday that he has passed along a proposed approval order and conditions for the other four FCC commissioners to vote on. "As proposed, the order outlines a number of …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Apr 2016