Items tagged with EU

Back in December of last year, the FTC filed an antitrust lawsuit against Intel, alleging that the CPU giant had abused its market position and limited sales of competitive products from the likes of AMD and NVIDIA. We've heard very little about the case since then, but the company and FTC have just jointly filed a request to suspend litigation proceedings until July 22 in order to evaluate a proposed deal. No details have been made public regarding the proposed resolution and both Intel and AMD have refused to discuss the arrangement. An unnamed spokesperson from NVIDIA told Mercury News that... Read more...
Micron, Samsung, Hynix, Infineon, NEC, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Elpida and Nanya. Ten companies, some of which you have definitely heard of before, all of which are being hit with some very bad news this week from the European Union. The European Commission branch this week handed down their first settlement in an ongoing investigation into cartel-like activities between these parties, which purportedly helped to "fix prices" in order to keep DRAM prices artificially high. This isn't completely unusual. We have also seen big-name companies in the LCD world hit with similar fines, and the EU... Read more...
In the United States, discussions of copyright protection and infringement inevitably revolve around the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA. Since it passed twelve years ago, the DMCA has become the weapon of choice for US companies seeking to fairly protect their property as well as institutions attempting to unfairly silence criticism by alleging infringement. For several years now, a draft treaty that would regulate copyright internationally has been making the rounds. ACTA—the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement—is meant to take the most draconian provisions of the DMCA, "improve" them,... Read more...
A ground-breaking event is about to occur in Europe, and it's probably not something that most will expect. It's not some sort of UFO landing or global climate pattern; instead, it's a move by Microsoft that could very well change the browser world forever. Awhile back, the European Commission found it unlawful for Microsoft to sell their operating systems with a single, pre-built-in Web browser. Basically, the EU argued that Microsoft wasn't giving consumers a choice in their Web browser, while no integrated document processors or A/V editing software was bundled (as an example). Microsoft has... Read more...
Microsoft and the EU are finally close to an agreement on how Windows 7's browser should be configured after months of negotiation. Initially, Redmond's idea was to ship the OS without a browser at all, a move the EU nixed, as it felt this would result in consumers being offered less value, rather than more. Microsoft's new idea, unveiled last July and batted back and forth several times since, was to include a "Choose Your Browser" option as part of Windows 7 startup. After further negotiation, that's the solution the EU is expected to agree to. Consumers who purchase the OS retail will be shown... Read more...
Intel announced it intended to appeal the EU's decision to slap it with a $1.45 billion fine; the text of the company's request for annulment is now available in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Santa Clara-based company's request is best understood as an attempt to throw mud on the wall and see if anything sticks—Intel goes after the decision from all angles.In its petition, Intel claims the following: The conditional discounts Intel offered its partners were not proven to have affected competition.The Directorate General for Competition (DG-COMP) did not conduct analyze whether... Read more...
LTE, or Long Term Evolution, isn't looking to be very "long term." The next generation mobile broadband protocol, or 4G, isn't even being deployed commercially yet, and already the European Commission is looking to spend some big bucks in order to research the next-next big things.Starting on New Year's Day 2010, the EU will release right around $25 million in order to research "ultra high-speed" mobile internet, which it hopes will act as the underpinning on the next generation of mobile services. Details are pretty vague about what it hopes to accomplish by doing this, but given the size of the... Read more...
Pro-choice advocates and IE haters alike have been pushing to get Microsoft's own Internet browser exempted from instances of Windows for years now. Many argue that it's a violation of anti-trust principles, suggesting that there's really no choice of browser when you buy a copy of Windows. Never mind that Apple does the same thing with its OS X systems by including its own Safari, but we digress. Particularly across the pond, Microsoft has caught an extraordinary amount of flack--so much, in fact, that it seems Microsoft is caving and changing its stance  on the matter. European Union regulators... Read more...
Last week, we covered the European Commission's (EC) decision that Intel had abused its market power. One of the findings that lead to the $1.44 billion fine was Intel's rebate system, which only awarded discounted prices to companies that committed to buying the overwhelming majority of their products from the CPU manufacturer. Intel, for its part, thinks the EC got it all wrong; the company has filed an appeal in the European Court of First Instance. While it's already made arrangements to pay the fine in the third quarter, Intel hasn't copped to setting even a toe over the the letter of... Read more...
For decades now, roaming charges have ate at the nerves of travelers. If there's one thing that has always been classified as a "rip-off," it's cellphone roaming charges, particularly international charges. No matter which carrier you have at home, you can rest assured that you'll be healthily gouged while talking, texting or surfing while in foreign lands.Thankfully, at least some higher-ups are finally realizing just how absurd these charges are becoming, and the European Union is stepping up to do something about it. Starting this week, making a call or text across the set of EU nations will... Read more...
It only took a month after the fiasco that prevented the HADOPI legislation from passing for the French Assembly and Senate to regroup, and on Wednesday HADOPI, the "three strikes" anti-piracy legislation passed the French Senate.  It had passed the French National Assembly on Tuesday.The fiasco we reference above occurred when overconfidence set in, and only a few MPs showed up for the April vote on the same legislation.  It was defeated in the Assembly then 21 - 15, though it passed on Tuesday 296 - 233.  Yes, just a few people missed that April vote, you can obviously see.In Wednesday's... Read more...
Boy, those suits in the European Union sure know how to dish out the fines. Just over a year after the EU ordered Microsoft to pay fines totaling $1.3 billion for withholding critical information from developers, the same entity has come forward and slapped Intel with a record-setting fine of $1.45 billion. Talk about unceremonious record breaking!The report states that Intel has been found guilty of "offering improper rebates and other discounts to discourage companies from buying microprocessors from its smaller rival, Advanced Micro Devices," and clearly European regulators don't take too kindly... Read more...
We've all heard it before -- "turn that music down, or you'll lose your hearing!" According to a European Union scientific body, said phrase has never been truer. According to new data released this week by the EU Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (what a mouthful!), up to ten million young Europeans are "in danger of damaging their hearing by playing their MP3 personal music players too loud." Rather obviously, the study found that "listening to MP3 players and other personal music players at high volumes for long periods of time could cause loss of hearing and... Read more...
It used be that if you wanted to watch a specific TV show, you had to make sure you were home in time to watch it. Those who were born in the sixties and seventies probably have memories of rushing home after school to catch their favorite cartoons. Not long after that, a major tipping point in how we consume television happened with the arrival of the affordable VCR. For the first time, we could watch our favorite TV shows when our schedules allowed it. Next came the DVR with its time-shifting capabilities--letting us watch and record different shows simultaneously, rewind and fast-forward without... Read more...
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