Items tagged with European Commission

The European Commission is hardly afraid to hand out hefty fines to tech firms, as Google knows as well as any company. In case Google was in need of a reminder, though, European Union regulators smacked the company with a fine of 1.49 billion euros, which is nearly $1.7 billion in US currency. Google's latest fine is for breaching EU antitrust rules as it relates to search and advertising. According to the Commission, Google abused its market dominance by imposing numerous restrictive clauses in contracts with third-party websites. Those clauses prevented Google's rivals from placing search advertisements on affected websites, the Commission said. "Today the Commission has fined Google €1.49... Read more...
Google's decision to force mobile device makers to install its own collection of apps on Android phones in order to have access to the popular Google Play Store is going to cost the company a hefty fine in Europe. Just how hefty is not yet known, though the European Union is likely to dole out a record penalty of several billion dollars. The way things stand right now, if a company like Samsung or HTC wants to plop the Google Play Store on a device so that customers have easy access to more Android apps, they are required to also install Google Search and make it the default, and also install several other Google apps, like the Chrome browser. This gives Google a huge advantage in generating... Read more...
Google just cannot seem to catch a break from European regulators. Fresh off being hit with a record-setting €2.42 billion fine (around $2.7 billion in U.S. currency) for favoring its own shopping search engine in search results over third-party comparison shopping tools, antitrust regulators in the European Union are now considering slapping Google with a subsequent penalty over its Android mobile operating system. Back in April of last year, the European Commission determined that Google was using its dominant Android platform to gain an unfair competitive edge against rivals. An initial team of investigators looked into things after receiving a joint complaint filed by lobby group FairSearch,... Read more...
When the European Union comes at technology firms for perceived antitrust violations, it comes at them hard. Such is the case yet again, this time with the European Commission issuing a record-breaking fine of €2.42 billion (around $2.7 billion in U.S. currency) to Google for running afoul of antitrust law. The fine is more than double the previous largest penalty issued for an antitrust violation. Following a seven-year investigation, the EU determined that Google abused its dominant market position to promote its own comparison shopping results while actively suppressing the competition. Should the decision be upheld pending an inevitable appeal, it would force Google to rethink how it presents... Read more...
A power saving feature found in some of Samsung's televisions has come under scrutiny by an independent test lab in Europe. The lab claims that Samsung TV's with "motion lighting" use less energy during official certification tests than they do in real-world use, the implication being that Samsung might be cheating. Samsung "firmly rejects" any such allegations and says that "motion lighting is a standard out-of-the-box feature, not a test cheat." "Motion lighting is not a setting that only activates during compliance testing. On the contrary, it is a default setting which works both in the lab and at home; delivering energy savings and helping us to reduce our environmental impact," Samsung... Read more...
The very ornery European Commission has set its sights on mobile chipmaker Qualcomm, which is the focus of two formal antitrust investigations into possible abusive behavior related to baseband chipsets used in consumer electronic devices. What investigators are looking into is whether or not Qualcomm essentially bribed customers with financial incentives not to buy from the competition, and if it engaged in predatory pricing -- charging below costs to drive competition out of the market. "We are launching these investigations because we want to be sure that high tech suppliers can compete on the merits of their products. Many customers use electronic devices such as a mobile phone or a... Read more...
European regulators are holding Google's feet to the fire over what they claim are various search shenanigans, such as Google promoting its own shopping services by displaying them at the top and burying non-paying rivals way below. Matt Brittin, Vice President of Google in the U.K., addressed the anti-trust charges that were brought against the company in April in an unexpected way."We don't always get it right," Brittin acknowledged. "As far as Europe is concerned, we get it. We understand that people here are not the same in the their attitudes to everything as people in America. We just didn't have the people on the ground to be able to have some of those conversations as we grew."The acknowledgement... Read more...
Tensions between the European Union and Google never seem to subside, nor are they likely to anytime soon as the former reportedly prepares to issue antitrust charges against the latter as part of a five-year investigation. Early indications are that this could be the most high-profile antitrust case brought on by the EU since it spanked Microsoft with hundreds of millions of dollars in fines for bundling Internet Explorer with Windows. According to The Wall Street Journal and its numerous unnamed sources, the European Commission is in the process of contacting companies that previously filed complaints against Google on a confidential basis and is asking... Read more...
Google is again the target of a controversial measure in the European Union as its parliament draws up a draft motion to separate the company's search engine business from its other operations, which it proposes is one possible solution to Google's dominance. The draft motion is backed by the European People's Party and the Socialists. It's not often that the European parliament calls out a big U.S. company in such a manner, which underscores the growing resentment towards the search giant among Germany's politicians. The timing of the draft motion, however, isn't all that surprising. Germany's Günther Oettinger became the EU's digital commissioner earlier this year, and since then, he's targeted... Read more...
Telecom companies opposed to Facebook's proposed $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp, a highly popular mobile messenger service, can go pound sand. That's basically what the European Commission said by approving the deal despite the outcry from telecoms that will have to find a way to compete with free voice-call services. "Consumer communications apps keep European citizens connected and are becoming increasingly popular. While Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are two of the most popular apps, most people use more than one communications app. We have carefully reviewed this proposed acquisition and come to the conclusion that it would not hamper competition in this dynamic and growing market.... Read more...
Time heals all wounds, but it doesn't make fines go away. Microsoft may find that out this month if the European Union goes forth with plans to fine the software giant in the coming weeks. The fine, which could be significant, relates to Microsoft's failure to comply with a so-called browser ballot feature it agreed to implement in Windows in order to settle an EU antitrust investigation dating back more than a decade. A little back history. The EU argued that Microsoft was giving itself an unfair advantage in the browser wars by bundling Internet Explorer with Windows, leaving less savvy users without a choice in the matter. The solution? Present users with a screen allowing them to choose their... Read more...
The European Commission doesn't mess around when it comes to antitrust law, nor is it afraid to hit companies with large fines for not playing by the rules in the European Union (EU). As such, Microsoft now finds itself in hot water for inadvertently breaking a promise to offer Windows users living in Europe a choice of Web browser rather than force feeding them Internet Explorer. Back in 2009, Microsoft settled an antitrust suit with the EU by agreeing to display a so-called browser ballot in Windows 7. The browser screen presented European users with five main browser choices, with seven more available via scrolling. That was all fine and dandy, up until the browser screen disappeared following... Read more...
Both the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Commission gave Google their respective blessings to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, the two agencies said in separate announcements. Taking it one step further, the DoJ also said it would allow Apple, Microsoft, and Research In Motion (RIM) to purchase certain Nortel patents, and cleared the way for Apple to acquire certain Novell patents. "After a thorough review of the proposed transactions, the Antitrust Division has determined that each acquisition is unlikely to substantially lessen competition and has closed these three investigations," the DoJ said in a statement. "In all of the transactions, the division conducted an in-depth... Read more...
Intel Statement on Latest European Commission Action SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Intel Corporation today issued the following statement in response to allegations contained in the new Statement of Objections (SO) issued by the European Commission: We're naturally disappointed the Commission has decided to issue a new SO. The issuance of a second SO suggests that the Commission supports AMD's position that Intel should be prevented from competing fairly and offering price discounts which have resulted in lower prices for consumers. We will evaluate this newest SO and respond fully, but it's clear that the allegations stem from the same set of complaints that our competitor, AMD, has been making to regulators... Read more...
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