European Internet Speeds

European ISPs could soon be barred from throttling traffic, blocking content

By on June 4, 2013 at 11:50 PM.

European ISPs could soon be barred from throttling traffic, blocking content

The European Commission’s vice president and digital chief Neelie Kroes is spearheading a campaign that looks to change the way Europeans connect to the Internet. It is estimated that roughly 100 million people in Europe face restrictions, including throttled Internet speeds and blocked content, from their service providers. The Netherlands and Slovenia are the only countries in Europe that have net neutrality laws to prevent ISPs from blocking competing services, however Kroes would like to see these laws expand to cover all of Europe. More →

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Europe gives Google one last chance to end antitrust investigation

By on May 21, 2012 at 2:30 PM.

Europe gives Google one last chance to end antitrust investigation

Google Antitrust Investigation Europe

European Union antitrust regulators launched an investigation into Google’s search practices in November 2010 after rivals accused the company of promoting its own services ahead of theirs. EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia on Monday said regulators and Google were not looking at a lengthy proceeding, and if the Internet giant could meet certain demands, the antitrust investigation could be brought to a close, Reuters reported. “Google has repeatedly expressed to me its willingness to discuss any concerns that the Commission might have without having to engage in adversarial proceedings, this is why today I’m giving Google an opportunity to offer remedies to address concerns that we have identified,” Almunia said, adding that he wanted a proposal from Google “in a matter of weeks”. The Commission can fine companies up to 10% of their global turnover for breaching EU rules and in the past has fined both Microsoft and Intel, among others. More →

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European regulators probe Motorola following Microsoft, Apple complaints

By on April 3, 2012 at 5:55 PM.

European regulators probe Motorola following Microsoft, Apple complaints

European regulators are investigating Motorola Mobility for allegedly overcharging Microsoft and Apple for use of its industry standard patents in their products, Reuters reported on Tuesday. Both companies filed complaints with the European Commission, which is now conducting the investigation that will look to determine whether Motorola failed to honor its “irrevocable commitments” made to standard-setting organizations. In February, Microsoft had asked antitrust regulators to intervene in its patent dispute with Motorola, claiming the company “has refused to make its patents available at anything remotely close to a reasonable price.” In its complaint, the software giant also named Google, which is in the process of acquiring Motorola. Regulators confirmed that they are investigating Samsung as well in order to determine whether or not the company violated European antitrust laws in its patent disputes with Apple. 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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Samsung faces antitrust investigation in Europe over use of mobile patents

By on January 31, 2012 at 10:55 AM.

Samsung faces antitrust investigation in Europe over use of mobile patents

The European Commission announced on Tuesday that it has opened a formal investigation into Samsung’s competitive practices. The Commission will assess whether the Korean manufacturer “used certain of its standard essential patent rights to distort competition in European mobile device markets, in breach of EU antitrust rules.” Samsung has used a collection of its patents to launch a series of lawsuits against rival companies, such as Apple. The technology giant maintains, however, that these patents are essential to implementing European mobile telephony standards. Samsung may now be in violation of a promise it made in 1998, when the company gave its “irrevocable commitment to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to license any standard essential patents relating to European mobile telephony standards on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.” Read on for the Commission’s full press release. More →

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EU to decide whether or not it will file formal complaint against Google by end of March

By on January 18, 2012 at 2:00 PM.

EU to decide whether or not it will file formal complaint against Google by end of March

Officials in the European Union will decide by the end of March whether or not to formally investigate Google. An informal investigation into Google’s practices has been ongoing since November 2010“I will receive comments from the case team towards the end of the first quarter,” European Union competition commissioner Joaguin Alumnia told Reuters. “I do not expect anything sooner. Let us see.” 10 different firms have filed anti-competition complaints against Google with the European Commission. The United States Federal Trade Commission announced in June that it was also reviewing Google’s business practices related to search and online advertising. Watchdog groups such as Fairsearch.org have accused Google of engaging “in anti-competitive behavior… that harms consumers by restricting the ability of other companies to compete to put the best products and services in front of Internet users, who should be allowed to pick winners and losers online not Google.” Google, however, has said that its business practices will stand up to ongoing investigations. “These are the principles that guide us, and we know they’ll stand up to scrutiny,” Google Fellow Amit Singhal said in June. 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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European Commission to investigate Apple, eBook publishers in antitrust probe

By on December 6, 2011 at 9:01 AM.

European Commission to investigate Apple, eBook publishers in antitrust probe

The European Commission announced Tuesday that it has opened formal proceedings to investigate whether or not major eBook publishers, possibly “with the help of Apple,” are “engaged in anti-competitive practices affecting the sale of eBooks.” The publishing companies named in the investigation include Hachette Livre, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holzbrinck. “The Commission will in particular investigate whether these publishing groups and Apple have engaged in illegal agreements or practices that would have the object or the effect of restricting competition in the EU or in the EEA,” the European Commission said in a statement. It is unclear how long the investigation will take. A press release from the European Commission follows after the break. More →

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European Commission now investigating nine formal antitrust complaints against Google

By on August 2, 2011 at 7:15 PM.

European Commission now investigating nine formal antitrust complaints against Google

The European Commission now has a total of nine formal antitrust complaints targeting Google, Reuters reported on Tuesday. “The new complaints come from small companies,” one source told the news outlet, and another said two of the complaints were new while three came from national regulators. Until Tuesday, the EC had only confirmed that there were four total complaints. Microsoft has also filed a formal complaint with the European Commission and its general counsel, Brad Smith, said that the search giant “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.” Microsoft has argued that Google has a 95% grip of the European search market. The European Commission is also investigating Google for anticompetitive advertising practices and, in June, the Federal Trade Commission in the United States announced that it will investigate Google’s business practices. The search giant has said in the past that it will be fully compliant with the investigation. More →

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French search company 1PlusV sues Google for $421 million

By on June 28, 2011 at 8:30 PM.

French search company 1PlusV sues Google for $421 million

1PlusV, a French search company, has filed a lawsuit against Google asking for 295 million euros ($421 million). “Between 2007 and 2010, no less than 30 vertical search engines created by 1plusV were black-listed, some of which showed significant business potential,” the company said in its lawsuit. According to Reuters, 1PlusV plans to file the official complaint on Tuesday or Wednesday with the Paris commercial court. Google has been taking a lot of legal heat recently. In the United States, Google recently addressed the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s investigation into its business practices, and it has also faced a similar lawsuit in Europe. In March, Microsoft announced that it was filing a complaint against Google with the European Trade Commission. More →

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FTC may investigate Google in antitrust case

By on April 6, 2011 at 6:45 AM.

FTC may investigate Google in antitrust case

Google’s plan to acquire ITA Software may result in an antitrust probe by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), two sources speaking to Bloomberg said Tuesday. The FTC is currently waiting for the Justice Department to render a decision on whether or not the acquisition will stifle competition among firms competing for clicks in the travel search engine market. Both the FTC and the Justice Department are capable of executing an antitrust investigation, and some pundits believe the scale of this probe could match that of the Justice Department’s antitrust investigation of Microsoft during the 1990′s. The search engine giant “could fight the FTC, but that’s going to cost a lot of money and time,” Keith Hylton, an antitrust law professor at Boston University School of Law told Bloomberg. Google also faces an antitrust probes abroad. On March 31st Microsoft filed an antitrust complaint with the European Commission in regards to Google’s search operations and practices in the European Union, alleging that Google has made it harder for other firms to compete in the search market there. Google announced that it had plans to acquire ITA Software, a firm that helps airlines manage flight times and sell tickets at the best prices, in July of 2010. Google hopes to use the acquisition to create new flight search tools that will allow consumers to find better flight options and prices. More →

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Microsoft files complaint against Google with European Commission

By on March 31, 2011 at 5:04 PM.

Microsoft files complaint against Google with European Commission

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 →

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Qualcomm at the center of EU antitrust investigation

By on June 17, 2010 at 3:25 PM.

Qualcomm at the center of EU antitrust investigation

qualcomm-logo

Qualcomm is now at the center of a European Commission antitrust investigation, it was revealed on Thursday. Stemming from a complaint from rival chipmaker Icera, the Wall Street Journal is claiming that “the main issue appears to be over the way Qualcomm links the patents from other companies to its own patent offering to bolster its chip sales.” For its part, Qualcomm says that the new allegations are more or less the same as previous antitrust case it fended off in 2005 in which six major competitors alleged the chipmaking giant was charging too much in royalty fees and making it difficult for new entrants to break into the mobile chipset market. More →

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