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Showing posts from 2014

EU Commission clears acquisition of Naspers' online classifieds businesses in Asia by Schibsted, Telenor and Singapore Press Holdings - as well as acquisition of Brazilian online classified business by Schibsted, Telenor and Naspers

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control over the online classifieds businesses of Naspers in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam by Schibsted ASA of Norway, Telenor ASA of Norway and Singapore Press Holdings Ltd of Singapore. Schibsted and Singapore Press Holdings are international media groups, while Telenor is a telecommunications operator. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns given that the target business will only operate in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam and thus outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Moreover, the companies' activities do not overlap. The operation 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.7447.

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Also, the European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control o…

Conclusions of the 1st EU-US Cyber Dialogue

Link: eeas.europa.eu/statements-eeas/2014/141205_05_en.htm
On the occasion of the inaugural meeting of the EU-US Cyber Dialogue on 5 December 2014, EU and US representatives met in Brussels to discuss several foreign policy-related cyber issues:
International Security in CyberspaceThe participants welcomed the landmark consensus of the 2012-2013 Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security, including its affirmation of the applicability of existing international law to cyberspace. The two sides welcomed the confidence building measures agreed in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and their implementation in order to build confidence and reduce the prospects for conflict in cyberspace. They commended efforts to expand similar efforts in other regional fora such as the ASEAN Regional Forum and the Organization for American States.
Internet Governance Developments in 2015The two…

EU-Kommission sammelt Kommentare von Interessenvertretern zur weiteren Beihilfe-Prüfung der Deutschen Filmförderung

Wie heute im Amtsblatt der EU veröffentlicht, tritt die Beihilfeprüfung der Deutschen Filmförderung durch die EU-Wettbewerbshüter in ein neues Stadium: Die EU-Kommission fordert alle Interessenvertreter dazu auf, ihre Stellungnahmen einzureichen. Da dieses Phase entscheidend die Meinung der Kommission beeinflussen kann, sei das Dokument mit Link zitiert. Es beschreibt zudem sehr detailliert den Stand des Verfahrens.
Link:
State Aid — Germany — State aid SA.38418 (2014/C) (ex 2014/N) — Filmförderungsgesetz — Invitation to submit comments pursuant to Article 108(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union ( 1 )
5.12.2014 DE Amtsblatt der Europäischen Union C 437/57
STAATLICHE BEIHILFEN — DEUTSCHLAND
Staatliche Beihilfe SA.38418 (2014/C) (ex 2014/N) — Filmförderungsgesetz Aufforderung zur Stellungnahme nach Artikel 108 Absatz 2 AEUV (Text von Bedeutung für den EWR)
(2014/C 437/04)
Mit Schreiben vom 17.10.2014, das nachstehend in der verbindlichen Sprachfassung abgedruckt ist, hat di…

EU Parliament publishes workshop papers: "Building blocks of the Ubiquitous Digital Single Market"

Russia tightens regulation for media acquisitions by foreigners

The Russian government enforces tighter control over foreign-owned mass-media operating in Russia. While CNN already announced to go off the air in Russia at the end of this year – after 21 years of local retransmission - other media companies will have ask state authorities if they want to acquire even small shares in local media companies.
Vedomosti online reports today that, according to a new ruling, any foreign company acquiring media shares in Russia above 25 percent of the company’s capital needs to ask the antimonopoly committee for permission.
The new regulation is based on the Law on foreign investments in strategic industries, entering into force December 6th. This comes in addition to further legislative changes entering into force in 2016, limiting foreign ownership in any media to 20 percent.
Also, the threshold for limitations will change: While at the moment regulatory restrictions concern TV, radio companies, and newspapers above a daily circulation of 1mln single copy…

EU Parliament publishes presentations of its Hearing on the future of copyright in Europe

EU Parliament holds Public Hearing on the Future of Copyright in Europe

Committee on Legal Affairs - Committee on Culture and Education

PUBLIC HEARING: THE FUTURE DEVELOPMENT OF COPYRIGHT IN EUROPE
11 November 2014, 15:30 - 18:30

Brussels, Altiero Spinelli building (ASP) 1G3

DRAFT programme
15:30 - 15:50 OPENING15:30 - 15:40 Welcome by Pavel Svoboda, Chair of the Committee on Legal Affairs, and by Silvia Costa, Chair of the Committee on Culture and Education15:40 - 15:50 Maria Martin-Prat, Head of Copyright Unit, Directorate D, DG Internal Market and Services, European Commission15:50 - 18:20
LEGAL ISSUES ON COPYRIGHT
15:50 - 16:10 Prof. Dr. Martin Kretschmer, Professor of Intellectual Property Law in the School of Law, University of Glasgow, and Director of CREATe. CREATe investigates the future of creative production in the digital age, and in particular the role of copyright.16:10 - 16:30 Prof. Dr. Leonhard Dobusch, Assistant Professor at the Freie Universität Berlin - Presentation of a study on the Commission Report on the responses to the Public Consultatio…

Estonia amends Gambling Act, Media Services Act and Advertising Act on Games of Chance

The Draft Act amends different provisions of the Gambling Act which mainly concern the protection of a gambler and the reporting procedure, the Media Services Act and the Advertising Act. 

The objective of the Draft Act is to enhance measures intended for the protection of gamblers, by extending the coverage of the self-exclusion list to totos and classic lotteries. The objective of the Draft Act is also to reduce the administrative burden on the supervisory authority and organisers by cancelling the requirement for quarterly reporting as the Tax and Customs Board will receive the information earlier communicated through such reports in the future through an electronic recordkeeping and control system. 

With the amendment of the Media Services Act, the sponsor announcements of organisers of gambling who have no activity licence or operating permit in Estonia will be restricted. The provision of the Advertising Act concerning advertising of gambling will be amended and established with a…

EU Commission puts hope into new EU Regulation on e-Identification (eIDAS) - what for?

Cross border e-Identification was a missing link in Europe's digital market (there are still too many cross-border issues in Europe). Now this shall change with a new approach: A new EU REGULATION (EU) (No 910/2014) will repeal a 1999 Directive (No 1999/93/EC), introducing a Europe-wide - sorry EU-wide - e-Identfication framework. 


Thereby, the EU Commission aims at:

(1) Building trust in the online environment as such -- as a key to economic and social development. As the Official Journal states: "Lack of trust, in particular  because of a perceived lack of legal certainty, makes consumers, businesses and public authorities hesitate to carry out transactions electronically and to adopt new services." 

(2) Enhancing trust in electronic transactions in the internal market by providing a common foundation for secure electronic interaction between citizens, businesses and public authorities, thereby increasing the effectiveness of public and private online services, electroni…

EU Commission and Europe's data industry start €2.5 billion PPP for big data

The European Commission and Europe's data industry have committed to invest €2.5 billion in a public-private partnership (PPP) that aims to strengthen the data sector and put Europe at the forefront of the global data race.  A Memorandum of Understanding to set up the PPP on big data will be signed today by European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes and President of the Big Data Value Association, Jan Sundelin, who acts on behalf of companies including

ATOS,Nokia Solutions and Networks,Orange,SAP,SIEMENSand research bodies such as 

Fraunhofer and the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence.
The EU has earmarked over €500 million of investment over 5 years (2016-2020) from Horizon 2020 which private partners are expected to match at least four times over (€2 billion).

See also MEMO/14/583.

Source: IP/14/1129



EU Council result regarding data protection, "the right to be forgotten" - and other issues

Data protection

Last Friday, the EU Council reached a partial general approach on specific aspects of the draft regulation setting out a general EU framework for data protection. The partial general approach includes chapter IV of the draft regulation (controller and processor).

The Council also held a policy debate on the "right to be forgotten" principle following the European Court of Justice judgment in the Google Spain case. This judgment acknowledges the possibility for data subjects, on the basis of the existing directive, to exercise their rights to erasure of data and to object to personal data processing against online controllers such as search engines.

Andrea Orlando, Italian Minister for Justice and President of the Council said: "The Council recognised the importance of the right to be forgotten and the right to object to data processing in particular in a digital environment. At the same time member states attach significant importance to …