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The EU must set the standards for regulating online platforms, say MEPs

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Source: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20201016IPR89543/
Foreign service providers must adhere to upcoming EU rulesConsumers to be better protected against illegal, counterfeit and unsafe productsStricter conditions for targeted ads and more control for users over what they see onlineSpecific rules for big platforms, “gatekeepers” of market accessParliament calls for future-proof rules on digital services, including online platforms and marketplaces, and for a binding mechanism to tackle illegal content online.MEPs approved tonight two separate “legislative initiative” reports calling on the Commission to address and tackle current shortcomings in the online environment in its Digital Services Act (DSA) package, due to be presented in December.The current EU rules for digital services have remained largely unchanged since the e-commerce directive was adopted twenty years ago. With the upcoming package, the European Union aims to shape the digital …

The End of Targeted Digital Advertising in Europe?

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EMMA, ENPA, EPC, FEDMA, EGTA, and Germany's ZAW "voice strong concerns about key parts of the EP JURI report on the Digital Services Act"
Source: JOINT PRESS RELEASE: PHASING-OUT OF TARGETED ADVERTISING AS SUGGESTED BY THE ADOPTED JURI REPORT ON THE DIGITAL SERVICES ACT SENDS A POTENTIALLY FATAL MESSAGE FOR THE AD-FINANCED SECTORS
On behalf of EMMA (European Magazine Media Association), ENPA (the European Newspaper Association) EPC (European Publishers Council), FEDMA (Federation of European Direct and Interactive Marketing), EGTA (Association of TV and radio sales houses), ZAW (German Advertising Federation), we would like to voice our strong concerns about some key parts of the EP JURI adopted report on the Digital Services Act on 20 October.  New Restrictions on online advertising?The report presents several problematic and worrying aspects and is regrettably one-sided, as it suggests new restrictions on online advertising which would be detrimental to the ad-financed se…

EU Commission clears acquisition of joint control of Axel Springer by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and KKR

Source: EU Commission

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control of Axel Springer SE of Germany by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board of Canada (“CCPIB”) of Canada and KKR & Co. Inc. (“KKR”) of the US. 
 Axel Springer is a media company active in more than 40 countries worldwide. CCPIB is an in investment firm acting for the Canada Pension Plan Fund. KKR provides asset management services and capital market solutions. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because of the moderate combined market position in the areas where the companies' activities overlap. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. 
More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.9864.

EU Commission: Questions & Answers on revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive Guidelines in Europe

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Source: EU Commissionec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/qanda_20_1208
2 July 2020, Brussels
Why is the Commission issuing guidelines on the Audiovisual Media Services Directive?Under the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), the Commission, after consulting relevant representatives of the EU Member States (so-called Contact Committee), has to adopt guidelines on the definition of video-sharing platform services and on obligations to promote European works.

The revised AVMSD extends certain audiovisual rules to video-sharing platforms, including certain 'hybrid' services such as social media,where the provision of videos and programmes is not the principal purpose of the service, but still constitutes an ‘essential functionality' thereof. The guidelines clarify which services will be covered by the new rules under this criterion.

The new rules also strengthen cultural diversity, notably by introducing obligations for video on-demand services to ensure…

EU Commission takes further steps to promote European audiovisual works and protect vulnerable viewers

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Source: EU Commission: ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_1209

2 July 2020, Brussels

Today, the Commission adopted guidelines to help Member States implement the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive. The guidelines will offer a practical tool to ensure the promotion of European works in media content, thereby supporting cultural diversity and greater choice for European consumers. They will also help better protect users of video-on-demand and video-sharing platforms, particularly minors, against hate speech and harmful content.

Executive Vice-President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager, said: “The revised audiovisual rules will be a tool to safeguard users against harmful content. They will also enable European companies, films and other media ventures to create and promote European produced content, for consumers to enjoy cultural diversity and a more varied choice of products and services.”

Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry …

Disinformation: EU Commission welcomes intermediary report on Code of Practice

Source: EU Commission

The Commission welcomes the adoption by the European Regulators Group of Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA) of the monitoring report on the effectiveness of the Code of Practice on disinformation of October 2018. 

This report confirms that the Code has provided the foundation for a structured dialogue and has had a positive impact in the fight against online disinformation, despite shortcomings. It suggests that a co-regulatory backstop may be necessary in order to ensure more transparent and effective actions. 

Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, said: “I am glad to see that the Code of Practice and our dialogue with the signatories are showing an initial positive impact, but more remains to be done. This report will fuel our ongoing work on the European Democracy Action Plan which will propose measures to counter disinformation and evolving threats for our democracies. It will aim, among others, at creating a more transparent and responsible p…

Coronavirus and the European film industry - EP Research Service

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Link: Coronavirus and the European film industry

Written by Ivana Katsarova, EU Parliament Research Service

With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused the shutdown of some 70 000 cinemas in China, nearly 2 500 in the US and over 9 000 in the EU, the joy sparked by the success of the film industry in 2019 has quickly given way to anxiety. Shootings, premieres, spring festivals and entertainment events have faced near-total cancellation or postponement due to the pandemic, thus inflicting an estimated loss of US$5 billion on the global box office; this amount could skyrocket to between US$15 billion and US$17 billion, if cinemas do not reopen by the end of May 2020.

The EU film sector is essentially made up of small companies employing creative and technical freelancers, which makes it particularly vulnerable to the pandemic. The domino effect of the lockdown has triggered the immediate freeze of hundreds of projects in the shooting phase, disrupted cash flows and pushed …

MEPs: EU funds must reach tumbling media and creative sectors

Source: EU Parliament
21/4/2020
Support needed for media, with advertising revenues dropping as much as 80% Make sure EU support reaches culture SMEs, individual creators and charitiesCreate an emergency fund for media, earmark structural funds for culture, and beef up the guarantee instrument Additional EU action is needed to make sure EU help reaches the ravaged media and culture sectors, say EP Culture committee members.

The culture and creative sector in the EU - especially individual creators and SMEs - and the media sector are being decimated by the crisis.

The European Union must therefore do more to help those struggling sectors to get back on their feet, stress the members of the European Parliament’s Culture and Education Committee, in a letter to Commissioners Thierry Breton and Mariya Gabriel, sent on Monday.

Emergency support fund for media

The media and press sectors currently play a crucial role in providing accurate information and thorough reporting. They are a critical anti…

EU Commission Answer to a written question - TikTok

Answer to a written question - TikTok - E-003875/2019(ASW)
See question(s) : E-003875/2019
16 March 2020
E-003875/2019

Answer given by Mr Reynders
on behalf of the European Commission

Question reference: E-003875/2019

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)(1) applies to the processing of personal data in the context of the activities of an establishment of a controller or a processor in the Union, or to processing by a controller or processor not established in the Union where the processing activities are related to the offering of goods or services to individuals in the Union or the monitoring of their behaviour within the Union.

Where information society services process personal data of individuals in the EU on the basis of consent, they need to verify whether those individuals are children below the age of 16 years. Member States may provide by law for a lower age. In such case, information society services must make reasonable efforts to verify that consent is given or authorise…

EU Commission clears the acquisition of Penguin by Bertelsmann

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of sole control over Penguin Random House (“PRH”) of the US by Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA (“Bertelsmann”) of Germany. PRH is a media company active in trade publishing. Bertelsmann is active in television and television production, trade publishing, magazine publishing, and music rights management services. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because Bertelsmann already holds 75% of PRH and the transaction merely implements a transition from joint to sole control, without introducing significant modifications of pre-existing competition. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.9710.