Stories by Loek Essers

European probe clears telcos of throttling Internet service

A European Commission investigation into whether telecom operators were throttling Internet traffic in order to gain an unfair advantage over rivals has turned up no smoking guns, but one of the companies that prompted the probe isn't happy with the result.

Facebook's $19 billion WhatsApp takeover bid approved by EU

Facebook's US$19 billion bid for WhatsApp won the approval of European Union competition regulator on Friday.

Booksellers raise Amazon monopoly concerns with European Commission

Booksellers have met with European Commission officials to discuss their concerns that Amazon holds a monopoly in the online book market.

Angry Birds developer slashes up to 130 jobs to 'reignite growth'

Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish company behind mobile game hit Angry Birds, will lay off up to 130 people in its home country.

Google bows to pressure, removes news snippets from German search results

In a move to minimize legal risks, Google has stopped showing news snippets and thumbnails for some well-known German news sites in search results.

Hacked celebrities 'dumb', says proposed EU digital commissioner

Günther Oettinger, the European Union's proposed Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, gave a disappointing performance at his confirmation hearing, dodging questions and calling the victims of a recent data breach "dumb."

Germany orders Google to stop illegal user data processing

As part of an EU-wide crackdown on Google's data collection practices, Germany has ordered the company to change its user data processing, which is in violation of the country's laws.

European Commission details grounds for Apple tax probe

The European Commission believes Apple could have received significant tax reductions from Irish authorities, and is focusing its investigation on tax rulings that favored two Apple subsidiaries, according to a newly revealed Commission document.

Facebook's new ad sales plan raises hackles in Germany

As Facebook began rolling out a global advertising network on Monday that will capitalize on all it knows from tracking users across the web, German consumer organizations immediately raised their voices in protest.

Apple tax probe details to be published by European Commission on Tuesday

Apple's alleged favorable tax treatment by the Irish government will come under renewed scrutiny Tuesday, when the European Commission publishes its reasons for opening an in-depth investigation into the company's tax affairs.

Forget 'airplane mode': devices are decreed okay for inflight use in Europe

Airline passengers traveling on European airline flights will be able to leave their mobile phones and other connected e-gadgets on throughout the entire flight, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said Friday.

Google gets privacy policy lesson from EU data protection authorities

European Union privacy regulators want Google to make its privacy policies easier to find and understand, with exhaustive lists of what data it holds and processes, in order to comply with EU law, they told the company this week.

Right-to-be-forgotten 'dashboard' to help EU's data protection authorities

An electronic case-handling dashboard and a network of specialists will be created to help EU data protection authorities deal with complaints filed by people whose requests to delete search results based on a recent "right-to-be-forgotten" ruling is denied.

French crime database breaches privacy rights, EU court rules

Storing someone's private information in a crime database for 20 years when charges against that person have been dropped violates privacy rights, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled Thursday.

Open document formats campaign backed by EU's digital commissioner

European government agencies should adopt open document formats in their dealings with citizens, outgoing European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes has urged.