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EU Articles

Google Gets Good News From EU Court Advisor

An advisor to the European Court of Justice said Tuesday that Google does not violate luxury goods makers’ trademarks by allowing advertisers to buy keywords related to brand names.

In his opinion, Advocate General Poiares Maduro suggests "Google has not committed a trade mark infringement by allowing advertisers to select, in AdWords, keywords corresponding to trademarks."

Sun Losing $100 Million a Month as Oracle Waits

Sun Microsystems is losing about $100 million a month according to Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, the company that’s set to acquire Sun. Oracle is waiting to get clearance from European regulators before the deal can go through and Oracle can step in and try to put an end to this loss.

eBay Petitions EU Over Brand Rules
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eBay called on the European Union today to amend an EU competition law to stop brands from restricting the sale of their products on the Internet.

The company has given a petition to the European Parliament, signed by 750,000 Europeans’ calling for reform.

EU Cracks Down On Misleading Electronics Websites
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More than half of European websites selling consumer electronic goods were found to be misleading online shoppers, according to an investigation by the EU Consumer watchdog.

The investigation covered 369 websites selling six of the most popular electronics goods to consumers in the EU, including digital cameras, mobile phones, personal music players and game consoles.

EU Investing $25 Million In High-Speed Mobile Internet
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The European Union said Tuesday it will invest $25 million into research that will underpin the next generation of 4G mobile networks.

The EU says the funding will go towards research on Long Term Evolution (LTE) Advanced technology, that will offer mobile Internet speeds up to a hundred times faster than current 3G networks. The funding will be released on January 1, 2010.

EU Frees New Spectrum For Faster Mobile Services

European lawmakers agreed today to allocate more radio spectrum to the mobile Internet to provide faster service and boost the roll out of wireless broadband.

EU Calls On US To End Online Gambling Ban
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The European Commission has released a report that finds U.S. laws on Internet gambling are not legally justified and discriminate against foreign Internet gambling operators.

Intel Says It Has Plenty Of Cash Flow

Intel said today that the record $1.45 billion fine imposed on it by the European Commission for violating antitrust rules, will not force it to reduce investment or cut its dividend.

"There’s still plenty of cash flow from operations to invest in our business, pay the fine and pay the dividend," Chief Financial Officer Stacy Smith said at an analyst event in London on Wednesday.

"As we’ve said in the Q1 earnings call, we are not having any conversations about cutting the dividend."

EU Launches Online Consumer Rights Guide

The European Commission has launched an eYouGuide, a new online resource that offers advice on the digital rights consumers have under EU law.

The guide covers consumer issues like the rights they have while shopping on the Internet, downloading music and protecting personal information online and on social networking sites.

EU Probes UK Over Internet Privacy
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The European Commission said on Tuesday it is taking legal action against the United Kingdom for not adequately protecting the privacy of British Internet users.

EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding said the action had to do with how Internet service providers used Phorm technology to send users targeted ads based on the sites they visited.

EU Says U.S. Online Gambling Laws Violate WTO Rules
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The European Commission said today that U.S. laws restricting online gambling violate World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

The commission said WTO proceedings against the U.S. would be justified but that the EU would first seek a way to find a negotiated solution on the issue.

Users Expect Open Internet Access
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The majority (91%) of Internet users expect their Internet service provider to avoid blocking or limiting their service, according to a new survey commissioned by Google, Yahoo and Skype.

The news comes as the European Parliament and EU governments are considering a major telecoms reform package. Some elements of the package could affect users rights by allowing ISPs to limit access to Web sites or applications, or to prioritize some Internet traffic in favor of their own partner’s traffic.

Google Gives Microsoft A Little Antitrust Payback
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Business is war, and payback is hell, but corporate trustbusting is more of a sport. Like basketball players insisting the ball bounced off the other guy’s foot, Microsoft and Google are at it again. This time Google returns the antitrust volley by announcing its intention to apply to become a third party in the European Commission’s investigation into Microsoft’s “unfair” bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows.

EU Warns Music Fans About MP3 Players
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A new European Union study shows that 5-10 percent of personal music player listeners risk permanent hearing loss, if they listen to a personal music player for more than one hour per day each week at a high volume over a 5-year span.

A European safety standard is already in place that restricts the noise level of personal music players to 100 decibels, but there is more concern over hearing damage from excessive exposure to such sources.

EU Aims For Broadband Access For All Europeans
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The European Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding said today that all people in the European Union should have broadband access.

"High-speed Internet is the passport to the Information Society and an essential condition for economic growth. This is why it is this Commission’s policy to make broadband Internet for all Europeans happen by 2010", said EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding.

Mick Jagger Advises EU On Online Music Sales

Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger has become an advisor to the European Union. The singer, along with the chief executive officers of Apple, EMI, eBay, Fiat, Louis Vuitton and others, are meeting in Brussels today with the EU’s competition commissioner Neelie Kroes.

EU Wants To Limit Fees On Texting, Surfing
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The European Union Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding has supported reducing the price of sending a mobile text message from one EU country to another by 16 cents.

Reding’s proposal is now being distributed to all other EU Commissioners before they formally implement it in early October. The EU’s 27 member states and the European Parliament must also approve the measure.

U.S. Pushes WTO For Panel On High-Tech Tariffs
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The United States has asked the World Trade Organization to create a panel to settle a dispute with the European Union over tariffs on high-tech items.

The request is an escalation in an increasingly bitter dispute over the WTO’s Information Technology Agreement (ITA), which abolished duties on a number of high-tech goods from July 1997 to encourage trade.

U.S. Testing Online Travel Approval Plan

Travelers who do not need a visa to fly to the United States will have to answer questions about their health and criminal background under a new electronic system launched today.

Starting January 12, 2009, people traveling to the U.S. from the 27 visa waiver countries will be required to fill out an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) form online three days before departure.

Microsoft Calls EU Fine “Excessive”

Microsoft has informed a European Union court that an antitrust fine of $1.4 billion against it is excessive and disproportionate.

In February the European Commission said that Microsoft used high prices to reduce competition and did not follow through on sanctions imposed against it as part of the case. Microsoft is appealing the fine it received in February.

EU Calls On Mobile Carriers To Reduce Fees
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The European Commission has introduced a proposal to reduce the cost of mobile phone calls by lowering the fees carriers charge for using each others networks.

"Disparate termination rates across the EU and large gaps between fixed and mobile termination rates are serious barriers to achieving a Single European Telecoms market that benefits competition and consumers. The consumer pays the price for these gaps between national regulatory policies," said Viviane Reding, EU Telecoms Commissioner.