Three months after it was fined €2.4 billion by the European Commission for abusing its position on its online shopping service, Google is changing its website to comply with the Commission's demands and avoid a new penalty. On Thursday morning (28 September), the US company's shopping service will treat its own ads the same way as ads from external services.
More than 300,000 Ryanair passengers have had their travel plans thrown into disarray as a result of a rolling programme of flight cancellations that will hit 2 per cent of all of the airline’s flights between now and the end of October. Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary blamed a “messed-up” rostering system and a need to give pilots “lots of holidays over the next four months”. He said the roster issues arose due to a change in the way the airline records flight hours. Under EU rules, pilots can only fly 900 hours a year, and 100 hours in any month.
Internet giant Google is appealing against a record 2.4 billion euro fine the European Commission handed down in June, 2017. The world's most popular Internet search engine, a unit of the U.S. firm Alphabet, launched its appeal two months after it was fined by the European Commission for abusing its dominance in Europe by giving prominent placement in searches to its comparison shopping service and demoting rival offerings.
The finance ministers of France, Germany, Italy and Spain have written a joint letter to the European Union's presidency and Commission calling for taxes on tech giants' revenues, not just their profits. The four nations want the Commission to produce an "equalization tax" that would make companies pay the equivalent of the corporate tax in the countries where they earn revenue. France is leading a push to clamp down on the taxation of such companies, but has found support from other countries also frustrated at the low tax they receive under current international rules.
The European Union's highest court on Wednesday backed Intel Corp.'s appeal of a €1.06 billion ($1.26 billion) EU antitrust fine in 2009, referring the case back to a lower court and dealing a blow to an antitrust regulator that has taken a hard line on U.S. tech giants. Intel was fined by the European Commission in 2009 for abusing its monopoly of the computer processor market by bullying manufacturers into purchasing all their chips from Intel instead of rivals. The penalty was the biggest antitrust fine in the Commission’s history until the €2.4bn fine handed to Google this year.
German newspaper Spiegel cited documents submitted by VW and another by Daimler, purportedly revealing that Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW are being investigated by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office on suspected antitrust collusion over decades on technology relating to exhaust gas measures on diesel vehicles. The report shows that the companies have been secretly meeting in various working groups since the 1990s, where they agreed on technologies, costs, suppliers and even how to work on emissions from diesel engines.
The EU recommended on Wednesday that three times bailed-out Greece has made enough progress in balancing its budget to be removed from special oversight of government spending. The move is a further boost for Athens days after it secured a fresh tranche of cash from its latest bailout to meet crucial debt payments and avoid a fresh crisis.
Chief negotiator Guy Verhofstadt and leaders of four of the parliament's main groups wrote in a joint letter to newspapers that Britain's plans for the three million EU citizens expecting to remain in the U.K. post-Brexit "fall short" of what they are entitled to and what U.K. nationals are being offered in the EU. EU Parliamentarian Guy Verhofstadt has called proposals put forward by the UK government a "damp squib" which would leave millions of Europeans with "second-class citizenship".
Talks about a new treaty governing the European Union’s relationship with Switzerland have collapsed over the same issue bedevilling Brexit — the European Court of Justice. Switzerland, which is not a member of the EU, has more than 100 bilateral agreements with Brussels overseeing ties including transport, trade and education, but the EU is demanding a single framework treaty. A new treaty could clear the way for closer ties in fields including financial services and power markets, but fear that any deal might upset Swiss voters under the country's system of direct democracy has put the project on hold.
Google has been fined a record €2.4 billion ($2.7 billion) after EU antitrust regulators concluded the first stage of their three-pronged probe into the world's most popular search engine. The fine, which targets the company's shopping business, is the largest doled out by Brussels for a monopoly abuse case and came after a seven-year long investigation prompted by scores of complaints from rivals such as U.S. consumer review website Yelp, TripAdvisor, UK price comparison site Foundem, News Corp and lobbying group FairSearch.
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