The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of NXP, based in the Netherlands, by Qualcomm of the US. The approval is conditional on full compliance with commitments offered by Qualcomm. Both firms are important players in the semiconductor industry.
On 11 January 2018, a crime group suspected of hosting a large-scale illegal IPTV streaming business has been dismantled. The investigations were led by the Cypriot Police – Intellectual Property Crime Unit, with the support of the Cybercrime Division of the Greek Police, the Dutch Fiscal Investigative and Intelligence Service (FIOD), the Cybercrime Unit of the Bulgarian Police, Europol’s Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition (IPC³) and with the support of members of the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA). In total, four individuals have been arrested and 17 houses searches have been carried out in Cyprus, Bulgaria and Greece.
Social networks and media platforms have existed for 20 years now. Today, in the EU alone, more than one billion posts and tweets, video clips and photos are shared on these platforms every day. Many of them are informative or entertaining, some are disruptive or harmful to minors, others simply illegal and punishable by law. It is time for the European Commission’s leadership to have direct talks with high-level representatives of media platforms and social networks.
Since 1995, information and communication technologies (ICTs) have driven productivity gains and growth in the EU. The concept of ICTs covers a broad spectrum of technologies, ranging from information technology (IT) through telecommunications, broadcast media, and all types of audio and video processing and transmission to network-based control and monitoring functions. Over the past three decades, technological ‘convergence’ has been blurring the boundaries between telecommunications, broadcasting and IT. Although linear broadcasting continues to be the principal medium of information distribution and entertainment in Europe, more and more audiovisual content is available on demand, while exponential growth in 4G and 5G internet connectivity and the ‘internet of things’ (IoT) gives the internet an increasingly ubiquitous dimension. With a view to addressing the different challenges, the Commission launched the digital single market in 2015 to deliver the main legislative proposals set as priority, such as boosting e-commerce, copyright, audiovisuals, the telecoms review, ePrivacy, harmonisation of digital rights, affordable parcel delivery, harmonised VAT rules and cybersecurity.
The Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) agreed today on the Council’s position on a proposal to facilitate digital transmissions and retransmissions of TV and radio programmes in the internal market.
This position serves as a mandate for the Council to enter into negotiations with the European Parliament.