Google’s legal problems in Europe are far from over, and the European Commission is readying what might be a massive 3 billion Euros ($3.4 billion) fine in the antitrust case against the search giant. More →
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 →
“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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
German news outlet Financial Informer reported on Tuesday that Apple has won a preliminary injunction to stop the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the whole of the European Union except for the Netherlands. The Regional Court of Düsseldorf appears to have sided with Apple’s claims that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 infringes on intellectual property related to the design of Apple’s iPad. Apple has a similar ongoing lawsuit in the Netherlands. Should Samsung continue to sell the tablet, the company could face fines of up to $350,000 for each violation. Foss Patents said the ruling in Germany will go into effect immediately, although Samsung could appeal the decision during another hearing. On August 1st, Apple blocked Samsung from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia until courts there rule on whether or not the tablet infringes on 10 of Apple’s patents. Samsung agreed not to advertise or sell the device and Apple will pay damages if the South Korean company wins the Australian case.
Microsoft has filed a complaint with the European Commission in regards to Google’s search operations in the European Union. “Our filing today focuses on a pattern of actions that Google has taken to entrench its dominance in markets for online search and search advertising to the detriment of the European consumers,” said Microsoft’s general counsel, Brad Smith. “Google has engaged in a broadening pattern of walling off access to content and data that competitors need to provide search results to consumers and to attract advertisers.” Smith added that Google has a 95% grip on the search market in Europe and that the company has aimed to stop any other firms from creating a competitive search alternative. Smith also argued that Google, since acquiring YouTube in 2006, has restricted other search engines from properly accessing YouTube videos for search results. More →