EU Articles

Apple Subscription Service Being Monitored By Antitrust Regulators

Earlier this week, Apple introduced its Subscription service for the App Store. Immediately, it was met with waves of criticism (though it’s certainly had its share of defenders). It didn’t take long at all for whispers of antitrust to start going around.

EU Launches Search and Advertising Antitrust Investigation Against Google
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Update 2: Google has posted a response on its Public Policy Blog.

EU Wants Google To Revise Street View Policies
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The European Union has asked Google to revise the way it stores images for its Maps and Street View services, due to privacy concerns.

Google currently keeps all images on Street View for a year, but the EU’s Article 29 Data Protection Working Party wants that time cut in half to no longer than six months.

EU Calls For More Privacy On Social Networks

The European Commission is reminding teenagers to "Think before you post!" on social networking sites as Europe marks Safer Internet Day.

The Commission said 50 percent of European teenagers give out personal information on the web, which can remain online forever and be seen by anybody.

Microsoft Yahoo Deal Approval Gets Deadline in Europe

Remember that proposed Microsoft Yahoo search and advertising deal? It’s still awaiting regulatory approval, but it might be a step closer to its destiny soon, no matter which way it goes.

The European Commission has set a deadline for a decision on approval of Microsoft’s bid (via Reuters). The date is February 19, or exactly a month from today. The deadline was published yesterday within a list of other deadlines for other deals.

ICANN Becomes More Independent
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The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body responsible for managing Internet domain names, has announced it will no longer be controlled by the U.S. government.

ICANN and the U.S. Department of Commerce signed an agreement today supporting the model of international multi-stakeholder governance of the global Internet addressing system.

ICANN was created in 1998 to manage the Internet’s addressing system such as top-level domain-names and IP address space. The group has been criticized for being too influenced by the U.S. government.

EU Plans To Limit MP3 Player Volume
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The European Commission said today it wants to implement new rules for the makers of MP3 players that would require them to follow new volume standards.

The Commission pointed to a study that found listening to personal music players at a high volume over a long period can lead to permanent hearing damage and 5 to 10 percent of listeners risk permanent hearing loss. It’s estimated that up to 10 million people in the EU may be at risk.

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.