Items tagged with European Union

Spotify, the largest streaming music player in the world with 100 million premium paid subscribers, is beefing with Apple, which has aspirations of taking the throne. If Spotify is to be unseated, however, it will not be without a fight. Spotify is very much being proactive in its battle with Apple, and has lodged a complaint with the European Union over Apple's business practices. The EU has decided to investigate. The complaint has to do with Apple's App Store policies, with Spotify alleging that Apple is unfairly and illegally "tilting the playing field to disadvantage competitors." Spotify's main issue is that Apple charges digital content providers a 30 percent royalty for using its payment... 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...
The European Union's Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) voted in favor of draft legislation that would overhaul Europe's copyright rules. However, the concern from several Internet pioneers, civil liberties groups, and others who oppose the legislation fear that it will ultimately be a tool for surveillance and essentially wreck the web as we know it today, even though those favoring the legislation may have good intentions. Lawmakers are trying to protect the interest of copyright holders. However, one of the provisions (Article 13) would require companies like Google to create an automatic filter for every piece of online content that is uploaded in the EU, to check the content for copyright violations.... Read more...
The European Commission has been known to levy stiff penalties on some of the world's biggest technology firms over various anticompetitive practices, with Qualcomm now being the latest. In a press release issued today, the European regulatory agency announced it was fining Qualcomm €997 million, equivalent to more than $1.2 billion in U.S. currency, for abusing its dominant market position in LTE baseband chipsets. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons via Maurizio Pesce Specifically, the European Commission took issue with Qualcomm paying Apple billions of dollars over the past half decade to exclusively use its modem hardware inside the company's iPhone and iPad products. In other words, Qualcomm... Read more...
Uber has been on an incredible losing streak over the past year; granted much of its troubles have been at its own hands with scandal after scandal. The most recent of those scandals started with an ex-employee who sent a letter detailing all the hacking and bribery that Uber has allegedly engaged in over the years. The latest setback came as the European Union's highest court ruled that Uber is a taxi service. That means that Uber will now have to comply with tougher rules within the European Union that govern taxi associations. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons (Dllu) The ruling was handed down by the European Court of Justice, the highest court in the Union, and the ruling made it clear that... 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...
The Google/European Union saga continues and could potentially lead to heavy consequences for Google. The corporation could face fines above €1 billion, with some estimating a fine as high as $1.4 billion USD. Google could also be forced to change how it manages its services and operations in the EU. The EU currently has three cases against Google, which will all be resolved separately. This particular case insists that Google diverted traffic from competitors to its own shopping sites. The company is said to have used its online search to lead users to its own other services like restaurant recommendations or maps. Google has also been accused of paying smartphone OEMs to exclusively pre-install... Read more...
Facebook is feeling the burn today thanks to actions taken by the European Union. The company came under fire both at home and abroad when it announced last year WhatsApp would begin sharing user information with its parent (which just so happens to be Facebook). This flew in the face of comments that WhatsApp made when Facebook acquired the company in March 2014. With this in mind, the EU has decided to fine Facebook for its transgressions, which include “providing incorrect or misleading information” during the European Commission’s investigation into the merger. Getting to the nitty gritty, the Commission found that Facebook flat out lied when it said that users shouldn’t be worried about... Read more...
The European Commission is doing its best Oprah Winfrey impression, though instead of giving away cars, it's focusing on Wi-Fi access to the public sector—you get free Wi-Fi, and you get free Wi-Fi, and you get free Wi-Fi! It's a €120 million (~$135 million in U.S. currency) effort to bring free Wi-Fi to all facets of public life by the year 2020. Governments can apply for funding to participate in the WiFi4EU project to install Wi-Fi networks in public places, such as libraries and parks. When all is said and done, the EU estimates that anywhere from 6,000 on up to 8,000 public locations will offer free Wi-Fi to citizens, serving up to 50 million connections each and every day.Image Source:... Read more...
Image Source: Flickr (William Murphy) Apple is on the hook for 13 billion euros (around $14.5 billion in U.S. currency) in back taxes owed to Ireland after the European Union ruled the company had dodged its tax obligations by taking advantage of a loophole. Naturally Apple isn't happy about the ruling. Apple chief executive Tim Cook got so riled up about the situation that he dropped a C-bomp, calling the ruling "total political crap." "I think we'll work very closely together, as we have the same motivation. No one did anything wrong here and we need to stand together," Cook told Irish Independent in an interview. "Ireland is being picked on and this is unacceptable. It's total political crap."... Read more...
Apple’s longstanding beef in the European Union over allegations of tax dodging has finally come to a dramatic end (pending an appeal, of course). In essence, Apple simply delayed the inevitable, as the European Commission is ordering that the American tech giant repay 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in back taxes to Ireland, plus interest. At the center of the complaint is the “Double Irish” loophole, which allowed Apple to funnel profits through two subsidiaries: Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe. According to the European Commission, these were companies in name only, and simply existed on paper to "substantially and artificially [lower]” Apple’s tax burden with the European... Read more...
If Google had been hoping that the European Union would back off on its pursuit of proving that it's anti-competitive, it appears that the company hasn't been hoping hard enough. Today, the EU shot another set of charges at Google for anti-competitive practices, this time squarely targeting its AdSense for Search platform. Previous antitrust charges against Google have involved Android, search, and shopping, with this third set expanding on the latter two. Anyone who's ever browsed the internet will have likely passed by an AdSense advertisement, as they're simply everywhere. We reinforce Google case on search/shopping comparison with new, strong evidence and send statement of objections t Google... Read more...
As huge as Google is, it's sometimes easy to think of it as being invincible. The American company seemingly gets away with whatever it wants simply because it dominates its competition. But, the European Union has time and time again proven that Google is not invincible, and in fact, it could now be facing the EU's largest penalty to date. Where we stand today is with a mammoth price tag on Google's head. As it appears right now, this is not a fight Google is going to win (easily), and if it's found guilty, it's going to owe on a fine reaching at least €3 billion ($3.4 billion USD). If the maximum charge is sought, that number could jump to €6.6 billion - a number The Telegraph mentions... Read more...
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