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EU Commission publishes non-confidential version of decision to fine Google €2.42 billion for abusing dominance as search engine by giving illegal advantage to own comparison shopping service

Antitrust: Commission publishes non-confidential version of decision to fine Google €2.42 billion for abusing dominance as search engine by giving illegal advantage to own comparison shopping service Today, the European Commission has published the non-confidential version of the decision adopted on 27 June 2017 to fine Google €2.42 billion for breaching EU antitrust rules. The decision found that Google abused its market dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to another Google product, its comparison shopping service. The decision is available under the case number AT.39740 on the competition website. Link

Netflix, Spotify & Co: EU Parliament ready to start talks with EU Council on new rules for online TV and radio

Link
Source: European Parliament' or '© European Union, EP' 
More cross-border access to online news and current affairs TV and radio programmesCopyright clearance to be made easier for broadcasters and operators who offer packages of channelsTalks with EU governments on new rules that aim to give consumers a wider choice in online TV and radio news can start after the full House gave them the green light.
MEPs endorsed on Tuesday the mandate for negotiations drawn up by the Legal Affairs Committee in November with 344 votes in favour, 265 against, and 36 abstentions. Parliament is ready to start talks with the Council on the new rules as soon as EU governments have agreed their own negotiating position.
Key issues
The new rules aim to respond to the growing demand of online TV and radio by making it easier for broadcasters to make their news and current affairs programmes available online also in other EU countries by simplifying the process of clearing copyright.
Cur…

How should we manage media in the age of artificial intelligence? Discussion report by the Scientific Foresight (STOA) of the EU Parliament

Source:  EU Parliament - How should we manage media in the age of artificial intelligence?
Written by Philip Boucher, Mihalis Kritikos, and Carys Lawrie This year’s STOA Annual Lecture focused on how media and other information is managed and distributed in the age of artificial intelligence (AI) – including how AI can be used to disseminate information and misinformation – and also in implementing new measures to counteract fake news. The lecture marked STOA’s 30th anniversary, and was dedicated to the memory of the inaugural STOA Chair and author of the European Parliament report that led to STOA’s creation, Rolf Linkohr (1941-2017). STOA Chair Eva Kaili (S&D, Greece) opened the lecture by asking how far we can trust algorithms to make decisions for us, before introducing Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science & Innovation, who congratulated STOA on 30 years of championing evidence-based policy-making for EU citizens. He described AI as a political as well a…

EU Commission opens in-depth investigation into the market for analogue terrestrial radio broadcasting in Austria

13 November 2017 Related policiesTelecom Laws Improving connectivity and access Today the European Commission opened an in-depth investigation concerning the Austrian regulator's (KommAustria's) proposal to continue to regulate the wholesale market for analogue terrestrial radio broadcasting transmission in Austria by requiring the transmission network provider to grant private radio operators price regulated access to its transmission services. The markets for broadcasting transmission services were removed by the Commission from the list of EU markets recommended for ex ante regulation already in the 2007.

Whilst the current case concerns three broadcasting transmission markets in Austria, namely (i) a market for the transmission of analogue terrestrial (FM) radio broadcasting signals; (ii) a market for multiplexing of broadcasting signals (i.e. a method by which multiple signals are combined into one signal over a shared medium in order to share scarce resources) a…

EU Commission conducts Impact Assessment on fake news and online misinformation

Source: EU Commission Impact Assessment

Political context


Access to reliable information is at the heart of what makes an effective democracy, yet many people find it harder to differentiate factual information and good journalism from propaganda. Increasingly, inaccurate information is shared on social media and echoed by a growing number of news outlets. The spread of fake news through social networks has become a global story due to its claimed impact on the outcome of the 2016 US presidential elections and Brexit. It has also been a source of concern during other recent electoral campaigns in the EU. From a more general perspective, this phenomenon is a proxy for wider issues regarding the commercialisation and private control of the public sphere by social media and the parallel weakening of the traditional news media industry, with adverse effects on the quality of the democratic debate across the EU.

Fake news comes in a variety of forms. While some forms of fake news contain il…

Markenstreit um "Fack Ju Göhte" - Mündliche Verhandlung vor dem Europäischen Gericht in der Rechtssache T-69/17 - Constantin Film Produktion / Amt der EU für Geistiges Eigentum (EUIPO)

Quelle: EuG-Pressemitteilung
Montag, 20. November 2017, 15.00 Uhr
Im April 2005 beantragte die Constantin Film Produktion GmbH beim Amt der EU für Geistiges Eigentum (EUIPO) die Eintragung der Wortmarke Fack Ju Göhte als Unionsmarke für verschiedene Waren und Dienstleistungen, etwa für Körperpflegeartikel, Schmuck, Schreibwaren, Kleidung, Spiel- und Sportartikel, bestimmte Lebensmittel und Getränke sowie für Unterhaltung. Das EUIPO lehnte die Eintragung mit der Begründung ab, dass die Anmeldung gegen die öffentliche Ordnung und die guten Sitten verstoße (siehe Entscheidung des EUIPO R 2205/2015‑5). Gegen diese Ablehnung hat Constantin Film Klage beim Gericht der Europäischen Union erhoben. Heute findet die mündliche Verhandlung statt.
Weitere Informationen

EU Parliament: At a Glance - Disinformation, 'fake news' and the EU's response

At a Glance - Disinformation, 'fake news' and the EU's response - 07-11-2017
The impact of the online spread of mis- and disinformation – including false news posing as factual stories – became increasingly visible in the context of the crisis in Ukraine, and gained notoriety as a global phenomenon during the 2016 presidential election campaign in the United States. Ahead of the European elections in 2019, the EU's answers to these challenges are still only tentative. 
Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP

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Gender Equality in the Media Sector - EU Parliament considers working document on 16 Oct 2017

The 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing of 1995 recognised the relationship between women and the media as important to achieve equality between women and men and has hence incorporated two relevant strategic aims: a) to increase the participation and access of women to expression and decision-making in and through media and new technologies of communication and b) to promote a balanced and non-stereotyped portrayal of women in the media. The objective of the rapporteur, Ms Michaela Šojdrová (EPP, Czech Republic) is to analyse the state of affairs in the media sector in terms of gender equality in view of both strategic aims.
Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP VISIT WEBSITE

EU Commission Workshop: Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology policy and standardisation workshop - documents

Related policies
ICT and StandardisationICT InnovationAdvancing in digital science and infrastructuresThe European Commission's DG Connect organised a workshop on September 12 and 13 on Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology policy and standardisation workshop. The first day gathered experts directly active in Blockchain/Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) standardisation while there was a broader audience for the second day, with representatives from governments, industry, NGOs, standards development organisations. There were rich and fruitful discussions among European Stakeholders. 
A full report of the meeting will soon be made available on the Commission's page. Agenda of the meeting on 12 SeptemberAgenda of the meeting of 13 September
Presentations
Martin Adolph, International Telecommunications Union (ITU), ITU Blockchain standardsRoman Beck, IT University of Copenhagen, Standardisation needs on use casesM.Faher (Gemalto) , S.Cariou (Crys…

UK Parliament: Committee launches advertising industry inquiry

Source: UK Parliament 
07 September 2017

The House of Lords Communications Committee invites contributions to its new inquiry into the future of UK advertising industry.

Call for evidence (PDF) ( PDF 272 KB)
Send a written submission
Inquiry: the advertising industry
Communications Committee

The inquiry will investigate how policies and practices might help the industry to maintain its world-leading position. In particular, it will consider how the UK can maintain access to the skills and talent that it needs in a changing environment.

The Committee seeks evidence on the following topics in particular:The skillsets and development of skills needed to sustain the industry.The UK's access to international talent.Whether creative and business clusters contribute to the industry's success and, if so, whether there is a role for the Government in supporting this.How the industry can adapt in the face of increasing digital advertising.Chairman's commentSpeaking on the launch of the inqu…

La Commission europeénne autorise l'acquisition du contrôle conjoint d'une entreprise nouvellement créée par les sociétés ProSiebenSat.1, TF1 et Mediaset

La Commission européenne a approuvé, en vertu du règlement européen sur les concentrations, l'acquisition du contrôle en commun d'une entreprise nouvellement créée sous forme d'entreprise commune par les sociétés ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE (Allemagne), Télévision Française 1 S.A. (France), appartenant au groupe Bouygues, et Mediaset S.p.A. (Italie).  L'entreprise commune sera active dans le marchandisage et vente, au niveau pan-européen, de l'inventaire publicitaire vidéo affiché avant, pendant et après le contenu vidéo disponible sur les médias numériques exploités par les parties ou par des tiers.  La Commission a conclu que la concentration envisagée ne soulèverait pas de problème de concurrence, compte tenu de son impact très limité sur la structure du marché sur le territoire de l'Espace économique européen. La transaction a été examinée dans le cadre de la procédure simplifiée de contrôle des concentrations. De plus amples informations sont disponibles sur les…

CJEU: Hearing in Case C-498/16 Schrems on Wednesday 19th July 2017 (Facebook – data protection – privacy rights)

Source: CJEU

Between 2011 and 2013, Mr Schrems brought a number of complaints against Facebook Ireland before the Irish Data Protection Commissioner which led to a reference for a preliminary ruling to the Court of Justice of the European Union in relation to the European Commission’s ‘Safe Harbour’ Decision (Case C-632/14).

Mr Schrems has now filed a class action against Facebook Ireland for breaches of Austrian, Irish and European privacy rules. He claims that certain clauses in the contracts entered into between Facebook Ireland Ltd, a subsidiary of the US company Facebook Inc., and Facebook users, are invalid on the basis of EU law governing consumer contracts.

Facebook Ireland argues that Mr Schrems cannot rely on the jurisdiction over consumer contracts because at the time he concluded his contract with Facebook Ireland he was using the social media site for commercial purposes. In addition, Mr Schrems cannot use the jurisdiction over consumer contracts for assigned claims on behal…

BEUC: European Court of Justice hears consumer collective action case against Facebook

Source: BEUC NEWS - 14.07.2017


On 19 July, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) is holding a hearing about an Austrian collective action against Facebook. Max Schrems, the Austrian data protection campaigner, has brought a case to court in Austria on behalf of 25,000 Austrian and foreign consumers to claim compensation from Facebook for violation of their privacy rights.

In September of last year the Austrian Supreme Court asked the CJEU to decide about the admissibility of Max Schrems’ collective action. In particular the CJEU was asked to look into two points:Can a consumer bring assigned claims of other consumers to the court of his home country, even if these consumers live in other EU Member States and non-EU countries?Should Max Schrems, who initially used Facebook only for private purposes, be considered a ‘consumer’ and therefore be eligible to bring the case before the court where he lives (Vienna) or did he loose this right since he engaged into other activities at a later sta…

EU Commission Answer - Follow-up in response to changes to the VAT Directive as regards rates of VAT applied to books, newspapers and periodicals

Commission response
See question(s) : E-003207/2017

11 July 2017 E-003207/2017
Answer given by Mr Moscovici on behalf of the Commission
The Commission proposal on value added tax (VAT) rates applied to books, newspapers and periodicals(1) was adopted on 1 December 2016 and negotiations on the text are still ongoing(2). It is a targeted proposal, which authorises Member States, without obligation, to align the reduced VAT rates they currently apply to books, newspapers or periodicals to electronically supplied publications.
The monitoring at EU level takes place as part of the review of the scope of reduced rates in line with Article 100 of the VAT Directive(3). To this extent, information is collected in respect of the VAT rates in place in each Member State.
Such information is currently published by the Commission in the document ‘VAT rates applied in the Member States of the European Union’(4), which primarily serves as an information tool for researchers, busin…

EPC Study: Rewarding quality journalism or distorting the Digital Single Market? The case for and against neighbouring rights for press publishers

Economic analysis: EPC - Fabian Zuleeg, Chief Executive & Chief Economist andIva Tasheva, Junior Policy Analyst
Legal analysis:  Deprez Guignot Associés - Professor Jean-Michel Bruguière, IP/Media lawyer and a professor at Grenoble University and Frédéric Dumont, Attorney & Partner
With the support of the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA)
European legislators have taken on the ambitious task of adapting EU law to an increasingly digitalised world. As part of the European Commission’s strategy for the Digital Single Market, it is currently modernising EU copyright legislation. While copyright is an important tool to encourage investment in the creative industries, an ill-designed copyright reform would fail to deliver important objectives such as an efficient value chain and a functioning Single Market. It could also have a negative impact on society as a whole by limiting access to information, undermining media plurality and hampering innovation.
In September …

European Commission - Fact Sheet: Questions and Answers - EU Data protection reform package

Brussels, 24 May 2017 The data protection reform package which entered into force in May 2016 and will be applicable as of May 2018 includes the General Data Protection Regulation ("Regulation") and the Data Protection Directive for the police and criminal justice sector. The reform is an essential step to strengthening citizens' fundamental rights in the digital age and facilitating business by simplifying rules for companies in the Digital Single Market. What will change under the General Data Protection Regulation?  The Regulation updates and modernises the principles enshrined in the 1995 Data Protection Directive to guarantee privacy rights. It focuses on: reinforcing individuals' rights;strengthening the EU internal market;ensuring stronger enforcement of the rules;streamlining international transfers of personal data and;setting global data protection standards.The changes will give people more control over their personal data and make it easier to access it. They …