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Apple gets boost in French privacy fight, but still faces probe

Apple gets boost in French privacy fight, but still faces probe

By , PARIS (Reuters) - Apple was given a boost on Wednesday as France’s antitrust watchdog rejected advertisers’ requests to suspend the iPhone maker’s upcoming privacy feature, but it still faces a probe into whether it unfairly favours its own products and services.Slideshow Apple’s new ‘App Tracking Transparency’ feature allows users to block advertisers from tracking them across different applications.The U.S. tech giant says it defends data privacy rights, but it faces criticism from Facebook, app developers and startups whose business models rely on advertising tracking.French groups...

Mar 17
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France has spent more to help virus-hit companies than Germany: EU data

France has spent more to help virus-hit companies than Germany: EU data

By BRUSSELS (Reuters) - France has supported its virus-hit companies to the tune of 155.36 billion euros ($185.5 billion), just over a quarter of the 544 billion euros spent by EU countries to prop up businesses, with Germany in third place, European Commission data showed.The EU approved 2.96 trillion euros in aid sought by governments to help farmers, the travel and tourism industry as well as companies in different sectors. But just 544 billion euros has been paid out, equivalent to 3.9% of the EU’s gross domestic product, the EU figures showed.The data covered the period from mid-March...

Mar 16
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CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Epic Games takes Apple fight to EU antitrust regulators

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Epic Games takes Apple fight to EU antitrust regulators

By (Corrects paragraph 14 to show Epic Games is not seeking damages in the UK and Australia)BRUSSELS, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Fortnite creator Epic Games has taken its fight against Apple to European Union antitrust regulators after failing to make headway in a U.S. court in a dispute over the iPhone maker’s payment system on its App Store and control over apps downloads.The two companies have been locked in a legal dispute since August when the game maker tried to get around Apple’s 30% fee on some in-app purchases on the App Store by launching its own in-app payment system.That prompted Apple...

Feb 17
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EU civil rights groups want ban on biometric surveillance ahead of new laws

EU civil rights groups want ban on biometric surveillance ahead of new laws

By BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Civil and digital rights groups on Wednesday launched a petition seeking the support of one million Europeans to help pressure the European Union to ban biometric mass surveillance ahead of laws on artificial intelligence (AI) due this year.Surveillance tools such as facial recognition systems have triggered concerns about risks to privacy and fundamental rights and that they could be exploited by repressive regimes to commit human rights violations.The EU executive plans to announce a legislative proposal on AI in the first quarter of the year, which is expected to...

Feb 17
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Epic Games takes Apple fight to EU antitrust regulators

Epic Games takes Apple fight to EU antitrust regulators

By BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Fortnite creator Epic Games has taken its fight against Apple to European Union antitrust regulators after failing to make headway in a U.S. court in a dispute over the iPhone maker’s payment system on its App Store and control over apps downloads.Slideshow The two companies have been locked in a legal dispute since August when the game maker tried to get around Apple’s 30% fee on some in-app purchases on the App Store by launching its own in-app payment system.That prompted Apple to kick Epic’s Fortnite game off the App Store and threaten to terminate an affiliated...

Feb 17
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TikTok hit with consumer law breaches complaints across Europe

TikTok hit with consumer law breaches complaints across Europe

By BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Chinese-owned short video-sharing app TikTok was hit with multiple complaints from EU consumer groups on Tuesday for allegedly violating the bloc’s consumer laws and for failing to protect children from hidden advertising and inappropriate content.Owned by China’s ByteDance, TikTok has been rapidly growing in popularity around the world, particularly among teenagers. It faces growing criticism about its privacy and safety policies following a number of incidents.European consumer group BEUC cited several issues in its complaint, among them its terms of service.“They...

Feb 16
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Exclusive: EU's Vestager warns Apple to treat all apps equally amid privacy dispute

Exclusive: EU's Vestager warns Apple to treat all apps equally amid privacy dispute

By BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Europe’s antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, has warned Apple Inc to give equal treatment to all apps on its platform amid the iPhone maker’s privacy changes that have drawn charges of anti-competitive practices from rival Facebook Inc.Slideshow Apple will in the spring ask iPhone users for consent to track their data for personalized ads in what it says is a move to protect users’ privacy but which will limit apps’ ability to gather data from people’s phones that can be used for targeted advertising.Facebook has been among the most vocal of the critics which stand...

Feb 8
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Fiat Chrysler, PSA win EU antitrust okay for $38 billion merger

Fiat Chrysler, PSA win EU antitrust okay for $38 billion merger

By BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler and French rival PSA gained EU antitrust approval on Monday for their $38 billion merger to create the world’s No.4 carmaker after pledging to boost Japanese rival Toyota Motor.The two carmakers are looking to the deal to help them tackle the industry’s dual challenges of funding cleaner vehicles and the global pandemic.The European Commission said PSA will extend its small van agreement with Toyota Motor by increasing capacity for Toyota and cutting transfer prices for the vehicles, spare parts and accessories to address EU competition concerns,...

Dec 21
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Google wins EU antitrust nod for $2.1 billion Fitbit deal

Google wins EU antitrust nod for $2.1 billion Fitbit deal

By Slideshow BRUSSELS (Reuters) -Alphabet’s Google won EU antitrust approval on Thursday for its $2.1 billion bid for Fitbit after agreeing restrictions on how it will use customers’ health related data.The deal had triggered criticism from privacy advocates on both sides of the Atlantic, consumer organisations and Google rivals about the company’s market power and the use of people’s health data in targeted advertising.Fitbit, once the leader in the wearable devices market, has lost market share to Apple, Xiaomi, Samsung and Huawei in recent years.The European Commission said it had agreed...

Dec 17
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Google to contribute $29 million to new EU fund to fight fake news

Google to contribute $29 million to new EU fund to fight fake news

By BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Alphabet unit Google will contribute 25 million euros ($29.3 million) to the newly set up European Media and Information Fund to combat fake news, the company said on Wednesday, amid criticism tech giants are not doing enough to debunk online disinformation.The COVID-19 pandemic and the U.S. election last year spurred a massive spike in misinformation, with some blaming social media for not being more proactive in tackling the issue while regulators have indicated they may take action via heavy-handed restrictions.The European Media and Information Fund, launched by...

Mar 31
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