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  1. BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Tech giants that break new EU rules aimed at curbing their powers could face fines, be ordered to change their practices or even be forced to break up their European businesses, the bloc’s digital chief Thierry Breton said on Wednesday. Breton’s comments come two weeks before he is due to present draft rules known as the Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA), which are likely to affect big U.S. players Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft. The DSA will force tech companies to explain how their algorith
  2. BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union could produce enough batteries by 2025 to power its fast-growing fleet of electric vehicles without relying on imported cells, European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said on Tuesday. FILE PHOTO: An electric car is charged from an Iberdrola electric car charging station in central Bilbao, Spain As part of its plan to become climate neutral by 2050, the EU wants to boost local production of the building blocks for green industries - including hydrogen fuel to make low-carbon steel and batteries to power clean vehicl
  3. Apple's device identifier service for advertisers is being targeted by privacy advocates in two complaints to Spanish and German authorities, reports Bloomberg. A Vienna-based group called NOYB ("None Of Your Business") has filed complaints with data protection authorities in the two countries, calling for them to outlaw Apple's "Identifier for Advertisers" (IDFA) service. Each ‌iPhone‌ that Apple sells comes with the unique identifier, which lets advertisers track the actions users take when they use apps. The group argues that the service allows Ap
  4. BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai has apologised to Europe's industry chief Thierry Breton over a leaked internal document proposing ways to counter the EU's tough new rules for technology companies. Google CEO Sundar Pichai Pichai and Breton exchanged views in a video-conference call late on Thursday, the third this year, according to a statement from the European Commission. “The Internet cannot remain a ‘Wild West’: we need clear and transparent rules, a predictable environment and balanced rights and obligations,” Breton told Pichai.
  5. The retailer is accused of using third-party seller information to build its own products. The European Union is serving formal antitrust charges to Amazon, saying that the retailer has misused its position to compete against third-party businesses using its platform. Officials, led by competition chief Margrethe Vestager, believe there is enough evidence to charge the company for this misuse. This data, so the claim goes, was used by Amazon to build copycat products to undercut these independent businesses, especially in
  6. Several of the world's leading Internet companies, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok, are calling for a new safeguard under EU law, so they can take proactive measures against piracy and other illegal content. Through the industry organization EDiMA, the tech giants argue that they want to proactively remove content, but only if they're not held liable as a result. Prominent tech companies such as Twitter, Facebook and Google, all respond to takedown notices, as they are legally required to do. Major copyright holder groups bel
  7. BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Reuters) - The European Union wants the World Health Organization to become more transparent about how states report emerging health crises, a draft proposal on reforming the U.N. agency says, following criticism of China’s initial handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. FILE PHOTO: World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference organized by Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents (ACANU) amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva Switzerland July
  8. The European Commission is working on its 2020 piracy watch list, which will provide an overview of notorious markets located outside of the EU. The annual report is largely based on input from copyright holders but the Commission is actively approaching accused pirate sites to rebut these claims before publication. Following the example of the United States, the EU started publishing its very own piracy watchlist two years ago. The annual ‘Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List’ is put together by the European Commission. As in the US, it is bas
  9. In a letter sent to the European Commission, a large group of anti-piracy organizations and copyright holders calls for stricter online identity checks. As part of Europe's planned Digital Services Act, online services such as hosting companies, domain registrars, and advertisers, should be required to perform "know your customer" checks. This can help to combat all sorts of illegal activity including online piracy. Anonymity is a great good on the Internet but increasingly there are calls for stricter identity checks. Such requirements are
  10. Facebook’s head of global policy has denied the tech giant could close its service to Europeans if local regulators order it to suspend data transfers to the US following a landmark Court of Justice ruling in July that has cemented the schism between US surveillance laws and EU privacy rights. Press reports emerged this week of a Dublin court filing by Facebook, which is seeking a stay to a preliminary suspension order on its EU-US data transfers, that suggested the tech giant could pull out of the region if regulators enforce a ban against its use of a data transfer
  11. LONDON (Reuters) - European shares fell on Monday as rising COVID-19 infection rates in Europe prompted renewed lockdown measures in some countries, casting doubt over the economic recovery, with a lack of U.S. stimulus also weighing on sentiment. The MSCI world equity index .MIWD00000PUS, which tracks shares in 49 countries, was down 0.5% at 0748 GMT. European indexes opened lower, with the pan-European STOXX 600 down 1.7% .STOXX, at its lowest in nearly two weeks. London's FTSE 100 was at a two-week low, down 2.4% .FTSE and Germany's DAX fell 2% .GDAXI.
  12. The European Commission is working on a guidance document for member states, clarifying how Article 17 of the new Copyright Directive should be implemented. The proposal has reinvigorated the 'upload filter' debate. According to copyright groups, the EU is watering down the earlier agreement by suggesting the "likely legitimate" content should not be immediately removed. At the same time, upload filter opponents are calling for more human reviews. Last year there were fierce protests against the new EU Copyright Directive which, according to opponents, would
  13. BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Europe’s highest court on Tuesday gave its backing to the European Union’s net neutrality rules which require telecoms operators to treat all Internet traffic equally, dealing a blow to the telecoms industry which wants a less restrictive regime. Adopted in 2015, the rules, which have got strong backing from large tech companies and consumer groups, prevent telecoms operators from blocking or slowing down traffic, or offering paid fast lanes. Telecoms operators have been pushing for less stringent rules to allow them to increase revenue
  14. TikTok, meanwhile, is joining the EU's code of conduct. The European Union wants tech giants to do more than they have to counter fake news for users on the continent. EU foreign policy lead Josep Borrell and European Commission values and transparency VP Vera Jourova have said Facebook, Google and Twitter should produce monthly reports on their efforts to stamp out disinformation campaigns. The officials are not only concerned about attempts by Russia and China to influence European politics, but the direct damage to people from COVID-19 misinformati
  15. BERLIN/PARIS (Reuters) - France and Germany threw their weight on Thursday behind plans to create a cloud computing ecosystem that seeks to reduce Europe’s dependence on Silicon Valley giants Amazon, Microsoft and Google. The project, dubbed Gaia-X, will establish common standards for storing and processing data on servers that are sited locally and comply with the European Union’s strict laws on data privacy. German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, speaking in Berlin, described Gaia-X as a “moonshot” that would help reassert Europe’s technological
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  17. European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has begun questioning merchants on Amazon's use of their data. Vestager has the power to fine companies up to 10 percent of their global turnover for breaching EU antitrust rules. Earlier this year, she levied a record $5 billion fine against Google related to its Android business. She also launched an "in-depth investigation" into Apple and its purchase of music recognition app Shazam. The EU regulators behind a $5 billion fine against Google are tu
  18. Multiple European gambling commissions, as well as one in the US, have joined in a common investigation of gaming practices and intend to crack down on any practice suggestive of illegal gambling. It’s the first time such a large collective of authorities have addressed the issue before, and it’s an escalation from the mostly fragmented efforts in the recent past. The 16-member group intends to analyze and “address” the risks posed by gambling-like practices in games, primarily the more predatory tactics which they say work best on children. In a declaration of intent, they say:
  19. Earlier this week the European Union published its very first 'Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List'. The goal is to identify problematic "pirate" sites and encourage foreign enforcement authorities and governments to take action in response. However, things haven't gone entirely to plan. Following the example of the United States, the EU now has its very own piracy watch list. The plan was first announced in January by the European Commission, which asked various stakeholders for input. This eventually resulted in a 40-page report in which various pirate site
  20. To say 2018 has been a difficult year for Facebook is an understatement. The Cambridge Analytica scandal, US senate hearings, and a massive data breach last month have all contributed to making life incredibly difficult for Zuckerberg and friends — and now the EU Parliament wants to add to their troubles. Yesterday, members of the European Parliament (MEPs) agreed on a resolution to “urge Facebook to allow EU bodies to carry out a full audit to assess data protection and security of users’ personal data.” The MEPs cite Cambridge Analytica and the 87 million
  21. You shouldn't profit from punishment The lawyer leading the complaints against Alphabet in the EU Android case doesn’t sound impressed by giant ad-slinger’s proposed remedy. Not one bit. While appealing the verdict, Google has also proposed separating its Android bundle into two parts, charging for the part that includes the Play app store. And this is the bit that vexes Thomas Vinje, the Clifford Chance lawyer and the legal counsel and spokesperson for FairSearch, a group representing Google’s critics. Since access to a broad range o
  22. BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A group whose members include Amadeus (AMA.MC) and Expedia (EXPE.O), stepped up their fight against German airline Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) on Wednesday, urging EU regulators to investigate booking fees it levies on travel agents. In its complaint to the European Commission’s antitrust watchdog, the European Technology and Travel Services Association (ETTSA) alleged that Lufthansa’s fees have cost consumers using independent distribution channels more than 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) since 2015. German online travel agent VIR is a joint c
  23. The EU is not only cracking down on copyright-infringing content, there's a strong focus on terrorist material too. The EU Commision recently proposed new regulations that would require hosting platforms to remove terrorist content within one hour, or face consequences. This week member states gave the plan a green light, which goes well beyond Article 13. The ‘upload filters’ topic has been widely debated in the European Parliament this year. While most attention has been focused on copyright-infringing material and Article 13, another filtering discussion has been g
  24. BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission approved on Tuesday state aid for a project to build very high capacity Internet networks in six cities in the German region of Bavaria. “The aid will bring very fast broadband to customers in areas where the market does not provide them, in line with the EU broadband connectivity goals,” the Commission said in a statement. The Commission said the new network will be capable of offering speeds of 200 megabits per second for households and 1 gigabit per second for companies and public institutions — far above thos
  25. BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU governments voted on Tuesday to impose duties on Chinese electric bicycles to curb cheap imports that European producers say benefit from unfair subsidies and are flooding the market, EU sources familiar with the case said. The European Commission, which is investigating on behalf of the 28 EU members, has proposed that definitive or final tariffs of between 18.8 and 79.3 percent should apply for all e-bikes coming from China. The anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties are the latest in a series of EU measures against Chinese exports r
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