Search Results for: Margrethe Vestager

Statement by Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager on State aid measures to address the economic impact of COVID-19

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission. The outbreak of COVID-19 affects all of us and our goal today is to bring together all of Europe’s resources to tackle this unprecedented situation. It is both lives and livelihoods that are at stake. Businesses all over Europe – and in particular smaller […]

Vestager vs. Google: a fight to ensure a competitive innovation framework

The EU Consumer and Competition Day took place yesterday in Amsterdam with Margrethe Vestager to reveal her will to charge Google for exploiting consumers by pre-installing Android apps on their smartphones. European Commission (EC) is showing its teeth once again, after Microsoft antitrust case a decade ago, against giant tech companies which are finding ways […]

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Nets’ account-to-account payment business by Mastercard, subject to conditions

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission. The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of Nets’ account-to-account payment business by Mastercard. The decision is conditional on the transfer of a license for Nets’ “Realtime 24/7” technology for account-to-account core infrastructure services as well as of […]

COVID-19: Single market must emerge stronger from the crisis, say MEPs

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs voiced concerns about the internal market during a debate with Commission Executive Vice-President Vestager on Monday. The majority of MEPs perceive the timely state aid schemes as a lifeline for companies during the COVID-19 crisis. However, they stress […]

3 steps to strengthen Europe’s competitiveness in the digital age

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum. Author: Peter Lochbihler, Global Director, Public Affairs, Booking.com Europe’s economic advantages include cultural diversity, an educated workforce and public services to support a stable and prosperous business environment. The Digital Single Market (DSM) can help traditional industry sectors take […]

Europe can be at the heart of tech with purpose

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum. Author: Tom Wehmeier, Partner and Head of Research, Atomico • Venture-backed, purpose-driven companies represented 12% of all capital invested in Europe in 2019. • Talent and consumers are both demanding start-ups display social commitment. • Only 1 in 5 […]

Parliament to vote on new European Commission on 27 November

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. The Conference of Presidents (President Sassoli and political groups’ leaders) closed the hearings process today. Parliament will vote on the new Commission on 27 November. After the meeting, European Parliament President David Sassoli said: “During the last two months, the European Parliament has played […]

Mergers: Commission clears E.ON’s acquisition of Innogy, subject to conditions

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission. The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition by E.ON of Innogy’s distribution and consumer solutions business as well as certain of its electricity generation assets. The approval is conditional on full compliance with a commitments package offered by E.ON. […]

Apple Vs. EU: Will the US tech giant ever pay for taking advantage of Ireland’s taxation?

Apple Inc. together with the Irish government showed up yesterday at the EU’s second-highest court to appeal for the 13 billion euros EU tax order. The US corporation has decided to legally challenge the 2016 European Commission’s decision by claiming that its products and services are created in the US and thus the profits were […]

The von der Leyen Commission: for a Union that strives for more

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission. Today, President-elect Ursula von der Leyen presented her team and the new structure of the next European Commission. The new Commission will reflect the priorities and ambitions set out in the Political Guidelines. The Commission is structured around the objectives President-elect von der Leyen […]

France and Germany can’t reach consensus regarding EU’s top jobs

The EU leaders are expected to meet again on Sunday to discuss about who will be taking over the EU top jobs, while France and Germany seem unable to agree who will be the successor of Jean-Claude Juncker. Last week’s EU summit didn’t conclude on the matter, something that exerts extra pressure onto the bloc’s […]

What if big-tech companies became non-profits?

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum. Author: Jonathan Wichmann, Co-founder, Wichmann/Schmidt After years of misinformation, security breaches, abhorrent labor practices and election meddling, politicians have decided it’s finally time to regulate the major tech companies. It’s almost impossible to think that, as recently as a […]

Antitrust: Commission fines Google €1.49 billion for abusive practices in online advertising

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission. The European Commission has fined Google €1.49 billion for breaching EU antitrust rules. Google has abused its market dominance by imposing a number of restrictive clauses in contracts with third-party websites which prevented Google’s rivals from placing their search adverts on these websites. Commissioner […]

Siemens-Alstom merger: Can Germany and France lobby to circumvent EC’s rejection, against EU consumers’ interests?

The European Commission (EC), after months of investigation and discussions, came to the independent conclusion to refuse the merger of the rail companies Siemens and Alstom despite the improvements provided by the two firms together with the continuous pressure by the French and German governments. Nevertheless, France and Germany still believe that the EU has wrongly […]

Siemens-Alstom merger: Will the EC succumb to Franco-German pressures for the sake of May’s EU Elections?

It was yesterday when executives of Siemens and Alstom met with EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in one of their last attempts to convince her to give the green light for their merge. The European Commission (EC) is now left to decide till February 18 whether or not to approve the merger of the rail operations […]

The European Sting’s 2018 in most critical review

“This is the EU & the world in 2018 as we stung it and you read the most”, The Sting’s Team addresses its fondest 2019 wishes to our most powerful reader, You. January Trump reshapes the Middle East at the expense of Europe Will the end of QE come along with ECB’s inflation target? Hungary and Ireland […]

Antitrust: Commission fines Google €4.34 billion for illegal practices regarding Android mobile devices to strengthen dominance of Google’s search engine

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission. The European Commission has fined Google €4.34 billion for breaching EU antitrust rules. Since 2011, Google has imposed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators to cement its dominant position in general internet search. Google must now bring the conduct effectively […]

EU opens investigation into Qatar Petroleum over potentially restrictive gas contracts

Margrethe Vestager, EU Commissioner in charge of competition policy, during a recent press conference in Brussels / Berlaymont. (Copyright: EU, 2018 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Jennifer Jacquemart)

Last week, the European Commission has announced it has opened a formal investigation against Qatar Petroleum over supply agreements that appeared to be restrictive for European buyers. In particular, the EU watchdog’s probe was launched to assess whether supply agreements between Qatar Petroleum, the bloc’s biggest sea-borne gas supplier, and European importers of liquefied natural […]

State aid: Commission finds Luxembourg gave illegal tax benefits to Engie; has to recover around €120 million

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission. The European Commission has found that Luxembourg allowed two Engie group companies to avoid paying taxes on almost all their profits for about a decade. This is illegal under EU State aid rules because it gives Engie an undue advantage. Luxembourg must now recover […]

We need to talk about how we define responsibility online – and how we enforce it

This article is brought to you thanks to the strategic cooperation of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum. Author:Florian Drücke, Managing Director, Bundesverband Musikindustrie The one – and only – good thing about hate speech and #FakeNews? They have finally pushed the topic of online responsibility into public discourse. While the Facebook data scandal has delivered unsurprising […]

Mainland Europe adopts Germanic cartel business patterns

As in VW’s diesel engines emissions scandal, in the case of Estonia’s half banking system working as mafia’s financiers, it was the Americans to unveil the wrongdoings. Is it by chance or the Europeans are looking the other way, when it comes to their own dirty laundry? Those calculated frame ups are not only meant […]

The EU clears Bayer-Monsanto merger amid wide competition and environmental concerns

Bayer’s cross at night (Copyright: Bayer AG)

Last week, the European Union formally gave its approval to Germany multinational company Bayer’s $62.5 billion acquisition of US-based Monsanto. Bayer AG, leader in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, got one step closer to take over the world’s largest seed company, after agreeing to bolster BASF SE by selling to it seeds, pesticides and digital […]

Will Qualcomm avoid Broadcom’s hostile takeover post the 1 bn euro EU antitrust fine?

The EU antitrust fine to Qualcomm comes as the latter attempts to avoid the 105 billion dollar hostile takeover by competitor Broadcom which keeps on biding higher and higher. Qualcomm seems to be in serious pressure as several fines have been imposed on the company for market dominance abuse and there are plenty of cases […]

Amazon, Luxembourg and Ireland hit by EU’s latest turn of the screw over competition

Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, in Brussels - Berlaymont, last week. (Copyright European Union, 2017 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Lukasz Kobus)

Last week, the European Commission has ordered Amazon to pay a 250 million euros ($293 million) bill in back taxes to Luxembourg, as a consequence of “undue tax benefits”. The Commission also announced that it is planning to take the Irish government to European court over its failure to recover €13bn in unpaid taxes from […]

Brussels Vs. Google: The €1 bn EU fine and the US response

The European Commission is about to impose more than one billion euros fine to Google as a result of online shopping service search abuse according to the Financial Times. If the above is implemented, it would be the highest penalty in the history of anti-competitive behavior after Intel’s case in 2009. The repercussions for Google, […]

The London City-EU connection holds despite of Brexit and the ban of LSE-Deutsche Börse merger

European Commission’s decision to ban the Deutsche Börse – London Stock Exchange merger, on the one hand solved a long list of problems it could have triggered, in view of and after the Brexit. On the other hand though, this decision has created probably as many issues, because London is the long established low cost […]

EU to give more power to national antitrust authorities in a bid to secure regulatory fines

Last week, the European Commission has proposed a new set of rules to give national antitrust authorities more power and resources against anti-competitive practices. The proposed rules, which followed a public consultation that was launched last year, are intended to make the bloc’s national competition agencies more autonomous but also more reactive against multinational firms […]

How did Facebook fool the Commission that easily during the WhatsApp acquisition?

The European Commission announced yesterday that a Statement of Objections was sent to Facebook accusing the company of providing incorrect or misleading information during the investigation under Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp. The aforementioned information was that Facebook had initially reassured the EC that it was not possible to match the user accounts of Facebook and WhatsApp. However, […]

Competing with Apple and leading innovation: Google’s world replies to EU on android charges

It was not a surprise or an unexpected twiddle, when last week Google like a fine-tuned clockwork delivered its formal reply to the European Commission, regarding the Android antitrust case. With a blog post on Thursday, the US tech giant has officially dismissed the third set of formal charges by the European Commission, saying that […]

Google strongly rejects EU antitrust charges and now gets ready for the worst to come

Last Thursday Google officially responded to the antitrust charges by the European Union relating to its shopping search and AdSense. Having been given an extra week to formally respond to allegations by the Commission, Google produced the strongest reply of its give-and-take history with European Regulators. The US technology giant this time is hitting back […]

EU accused of being too nice with Gazprom in the infamous antitrust case

Last week came to be a crucial one for the long-standing dispute between the Russian energy giant Gazprom and the European Union. Gazprom will work on a compromise with EU regulators and will finalise a deal to end a five-year antitrust case avoiding fines and any other imposed term, according to official declaration. The news […]

An American duel in Brussels: Salesforce against Microsoft over Linkedin deal

When earlier this year Microsoft snapped up the world’s headlines by announcing it would have acquired LinkedIn with a colossal $26.2 billion deal, everyone was already preparing for the shockwaves this move would have generated. Last week, US cloud computing company Salesforce.com  openly urged European Union regulators to block the acquisition over unfair competition concerns. […]

Deutsche Bank again in the middle of the US-EU economic skirmishes

The US government is reacting in many ways against the fine in back taxes of €13 billion which the European Commission imposed on Apple. Firstly, Jack Lew, the American Secretary of the Treasury, accused the EU of grabbing tax incomes which belong to the US. On 31st August he said, “What’s not appropriate is for, […]