Google EU Antitrust

The EU proves it doesn’t like Google, hits it with more antitrust charges

By on July 14, 2016 at 8:00 PM.

The EU proves it doesn’t like Google, hits it with more antitrust charges

It’s no secret that Google and the EU’s anti-competitive practices department have a rocky relationship. Google has been accused of abusing its monopoly power to keep competitors out of the business in the past, and now regulators are doubling down.

The European Commission today issued a “statement of objections” against Alphabet, Google’s parent company. The main complaint is the contract Google signs with third-party websites that use its advertising service, which forces websites to put Google’s ads front and center, and prevents them from using ads from non-Google services.

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Brexit Vote Results

Brexit: when democracy feels like it doesn’t work

By on June 24, 2016 at 9:45 AM.

Brexit: when democracy feels like it doesn’t work

Last night, the majority of the British population voted to leave the European Union. It’s an act of direct democracy, high turnout voting on a simple yes-and-no question. But because of stunning generational divides, the result of the Brexit vote sure doesn’t feel like a fair and equitable outcome.

According to a YouGov poll, a huge majority of people under 50 voted to Remain. Among 18-24-year-olds, the age category that’s going to have to live with the consequences of this vote for all of their working lives, 75 percent voted to stay.

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Privacy Shield NSA Spying

NSA can still spy under new ‘Privacy Shield’ agreement with Europe

By on March 2, 2016 at 9:15 PM.

NSA can still spy under new ‘Privacy Shield’ agreement with Europe

The United States and the European Union are about to reach a new privacy agreement intended to replace the old Safe Harbor agreement that came under intense scrutiny after the Snowden leaks revealed the scope of NSA’s data collection operations.

The new Privacy Shield was published in full a few days ago, showing the principles that would govern the exchange of digital information between EU consumers and U.S. companies. However, the new agreement also has provisions that explain how and when the NSA can continue bulk data collection in the region. More →

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Google EU Search Android Antitrust Investigation

‘We love Google, but we fear Google’ – the full story of Google’s $6B EU nightmare

By on August 6, 2015 at 7:15 PM.

‘We love Google, but we fear Google’ – the full story of Google’s $6B EU nightmare

“We love Google, but we fear Google,” Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao said during a high-profile debate that Eric Schmidt lost badly to one of the most important Google opponents in Europe. The debate took place at an exclusive Google event last August, attended mainly by Googlers. While that may be seen as just an argument between powerful people manning top companies that affect our daily digital lives, Google’s business in Europe is actually at stake.

The search giant is facing intense scrutiny in Europe in an antitrust case that seemed to leave Google unharmed more than a year ago. But Google is a long way off from reaching a definitive settlement, as more and more companies make their concerns against Google heard. The company might be facing a $6 billion fine in a case that could have lasting damage to its business in the region. More →

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EU vs. Google Search

EU wants to divide and conquer Google

By on November 28, 2014 at 6:50 AM.

EU wants to divide and conquer Google

The European Parliament on Thursday voted to break up Google, Reuters reports. The motion against Google, which already has its fair share of legal troubles in the EU, was “overwhelmingly backed” — 384 votes for and 174 against — although it’s not exactly clear what that means for the giant corporation’s search business. More →

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Apple Record Tax Fine

Apple faces a record fine in Europe over alleged illegal tax-dodging practices

By on September 29, 2014 at 8:01 PM.

Apple faces a record fine in Europe over alleged illegal tax-dodging practices

Apple is not done facing tax-related inquiries, The Financial Times reports, as the European Union is investigating the company’s tax deal with Ireland. Preliminary findings apparently claim that Apple has benefited from illegal state aid after it reached certain special agreements with the Irish government that others companies based in the region — including Amazon, Facebook, PayPal and Twitter — do not enjoy. More →

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EU tells Google to stop rolling out privacy changes

By on February 3, 2012 at 10:00 AM.

EU tells Google to stop rolling out privacy changes

Regulators with the European Union have asked Google to stop rolling out new privacy changes that the company originally introduced earlier this month. “Given the wide range of services you offer, and the popularity of these services, changes in your privacy policy may affect many citizens in most or all of the EU member states,” the European wrote in a letter to Google’s CEO Larry Page. “We wish to check the possible consequences for the protection of the personal data of these citizens in a coordinated way. In light of the above, we call for a pause in the interests of ensuring that there can be no misunderstanding about Google’s commitments to information rights of their users and EU citizens, until we have completed our analysis.” Google said it was introducing the new privacy changes, which go into effect on March 1, to provide a “more intuitive Google experience” for its users, but several groups, including the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, have accused Google of collecting more data than ever before. Google told BGR in a statement that it is “not collecting any new or additional data about users.” More →

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European Union to rule on Google’s planned Motorola Mobility buy on February 13th

By on January 19, 2012 at 3:45 PM.

European Union to rule on Google’s planned Motorola Mobility buy on February 13th

The European Union will decide on February 13th whether or not to give its blessing to Google’s planned purchase of Motorola Mobility. Google recently provided European courts with more information in support of the merger, Reuters said. The European Union suspended its review of the merger on December 12th pending Google’s submission of documents that are considered “essential to its evaluation of the transaction.” Google announced on August 15th its intentions to purchase Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion and said the purchase will bolster its patent portfolio and help it defend its Android partners against competitors such as Apple and Microsoft. More →

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EU regulators temporarily suspend review of Google’s planned Motorola Mobility buy

By on December 12, 2011 at 9:00 PM.

EU regulators temporarily suspend review of Google’s planned Motorola Mobility buy

European Union regulators have temporarily stopped investigating Google’s planned $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility until more information is made available. The antitrust investigation will resume after “certain documents that are essential to its evaluation of the transaction” are provided to the European Union, Amelia Torres, a spokeswoman for the government agency explained. The suspension went into effect on December 6th and it is unclear how long it will last. Bloomberg said the regulatory investigation is expected to finish up sometime next year. Google announced on August 15th its intentions to purchase Motorola Mobility. At least one expert has said the deal will be a “big mistake,” but Google has explained that Motorola’s patents will help it assist its Android partners in legal battles with competitors such as Microsoft and Apple.  More →

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