132 Marketing Trends found for Corporate / Legal

To minimise / maximise the insight just click anywhere within the orange box
Europe to Probe Google's Alleged Abuse of Dominant Market Position

Internet search titan Google is set to undergo an in-depth probe by the European Commission following allegations that the Mountain View-headquartered company has abused its dominant market position. Hands aloft in pious indignation, Googleliath insists it has never intentionally damaged competing services, and its sole aim is “to provide the best results for users”. It claims there are “compelling reasons” why rival search services were ranked lowly by its dispassionate algorithms.

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2010 onward]

Four charges have been laid against the US search titan:

  1. That it has intentionally 'hurt' competing services.
  2. It has lowered the “quality score” for sponsored links of competing vertical search services.
  3. It has imposed exclusivity obligations on advertisers, preventing them from placing certain types of competing advertisements on their websites.
  4. Restrictions have been imposed on the portability of online advert campaign data to competing online advertising platforms.

Google denies that it holds a dominant position in online search despite its massive market share, and insists it will vigorously defend the four charges.

Thanks to Google's legion of lawyers and the EC's bureaucratic machinery, the investigation is expected to extend over several centuries!


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: FT.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5415

European Commission Plans EU-Wide Patent Registration System

 In a bid to ease the administrative burden for firms registering patents, the European Union plans in the near future to implement a simplified and cheaper European patent system - a goal that has eluded the trade bloc for a more than a decade. However, a number of major stumbling blocks must first be overcome ...




[Estimated timeframe:Q4 2010 onward]

... not least the lack of unanimity on the issue among the twenty-seven member states.

Germany, the UK and several other countries want a fast-track deal under the "enhanced co-operation" procedure. Italy and Spain, however, objected to a Commission proposal to have three official languages for registering patents - English, French and German.

A language dispute has delayed progress on an EU-wide patent system. Despite which a procedural device known as "Enhanced Co-operation" allows nine or more countries to push ahead with a measure they deem important but is blocked by a small minority of EU states. Other countries can join them at a later date.

The procedure has been used only once before - to simplify divorce rules in cases where spouses come from different EU countries.

Legal experts say a fast-track deal on a European patent system will not conflict with EU competition rules, a senior official in the Belgian EU presidency told the BBC on Monday.

The official, who asked not to be named, confirmed that enhanced co-operation was now the preferred option and that Belgium was acting as "honest broker" in the negotiations.

The Irish Republic, the Netherlands, Sweden and Slovenia are reported to be in the "fast track" group, along with Germany and the UK.

The Commission says a single EU patent system would reduce translation costs from the current 14,000 euros (£12,226) on average to just 680 euros per patent.

The EU has been wrangling over plans for an EU-wide patent since August 2000, when the Commission first called for a regulation to settle the matter.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: BBC.co.uk
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5410

FCC Aims to Shoehorn Net Neutrality Rules Despite Republican Majority

The future independence of the internet could be assured as early as December 15 according to Capitol Hill insiders. Despite the Republican Party's new majority in Congress, the Federal Communcications Commission is expected to shoehorn-through new regulations [aka 'net neutrality' rules] that will prevent internet service providers from blocking or favoring content online. The FCC's new regulations are expected to ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2010 onward]

... reflect legislation proposed earlier this year by the outgoing Democratic chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Congressman Henry Waxman.

Despited winning support from most of the big telephone and cable companies, the draft legislation is opposed by many Congressional Republicans. Waxman's bill, had it been passed, would have prohibited wireless carriers from blocking websites and prevented phone and cable groups from “unjustly or unreasonably” discriminating against lawful internet traffic.

Although most telecom and cable companies initially resisted the proposals mooted by Waxman and FCC boss Julius Genachowski, the new bill, if passed next month, could be grudgingly welcomed by the larger cable and telecoms firms.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: FT.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5398

FCC Seeks to Hobble Google's Future Trading in Personal Data

Hand held aloft in pious indignation, Larry and Sergey's money machine insists it has not broked its own sixth commandment: "You can make money without doing evil." And Google really, truly and honestly doesn't know why that nasty Federal Trade Commission and those fun-denying Republican and Democrat politicians want to interfere with its right to exploit the planet's private information for commercial gain.

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2010 onward]

Prominent in the line of hostile fire is Google's Street View project which ostensibly collects images of residential neighbourhoods for its online mapping service. But - purely by accident of course - Street View has also collected a highly exploitable mass of personal and private information. Without the permission of the data-owners. And the US (and European) body politic doesn't like it!

Federal Communications Commission enforcement bureau chief Michele Ellison says the commission is probing whether Google had violated the law following the search group's admission last month it had collected passwords, emails and other private information from unsuspecting individuals.

The FCC’s announcement follows a controversial decision by the Federal Trade Commission, the top US consumer protection watchdog, to abandon an investigation into the company. The FTC’s move was criticised by privacy advocates, who claimed the decision was premature.

But the FCC’s probe could represent just the tip of the iceberg for Google. One influential Republican lawmaker in the House of Representatives, who will have new power following last week’s congressional elections, has signalled that Republicans will take a closer look at the Street View incident.

Republican Joe Barton, ambitious to become chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a recent interview that it was virtually guaranteed that executives from Google would be asked to testify on Capitol Hill. The company, Barton alleges, had made "a conscious effort to collect information. It wasn’t just kind of accidentally gathered.”


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: FT.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5376

Google Provokes EU to Review Online Privacy Law

The European Union has proposed new privacy rules to protect citizens sharing personal data with websites such as Facebook and Google - a move that  will likely draw a line in the sand for privacy-promiscuous US tech companies. It is also likely to alienate the advertising and media industries on both sides of the Atlantic. Google and Facebook have already incurred the ire of EU regulators and politicians this year for collecting personal data without authorization - in particular the former's unauthorized collection of sensitive personal data whilst purportedly trawling the Europe's streets for StreetView data.

[Estimated timeframe:2011 onward]

The draft European Commission rules - snappily titled A Comprehensive Approach on Personal Data Protection in the European Union - imply the imposition of an online "right to be forgotten."

Such a dispensation would confer on EU citizens a legal right to demand that websites permanently delete already submitted personal data. The proposed rules also mandate that users give explicit consent before companies can use or process their personal data in any way. The mercifully brief (20-page) document also condemns website operators' current privacy policies as "opaque".

States EU Commissioner for Justice Viviane Reding: "The protection of personal data is a fundamental right. To guarantee this right, we need clear and consistent data-protection rules. We also need to bring our laws up to date with the challenges raised by new technologies and globalization."

The proposal recommends giving consumers the right to sue companies for privacy breaches and also proposes criminal penalties.

The Commission, the EU's executive branch, will submit the proposal as legislation next year. It will then be debated and amended by EU members and the European Parliament before becoming law.

In the interim, expect frenzied lobbying from all interested parties - plus loud howls of transatlantic indignation!

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5374

UK Government to Review Copyright Laws, Says Prime Minister

Britain's intellectual property laws are to be reviewed to "make them fit for the internet age," prime minister David Cameron (left) has announced. He said the law could be relaxed to allow greater use of copyright material without the owner's permission. His announcement was welcomed by internet campaigners who contend it will boost small businesses.


[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2010- onward]

However, any changes are likely to be strongly resisted by the music and film industries who have campaigned against copyright reform.

Speaking at an event in the East End of London, at which he announced a series of investments by IT giants including Facebook and Google, the prime minister said:  "The service [such companies] provide depends on taking a snapshot of all the content on the internet at any one time and they feel our copyright system is not as friendly to this sort of innovation as it is in the United States.

"Over there, they have what are called 'fair-use' provisions, which some people believe gives companies more breathing space to create new products and services.

"So I can announce today that we are reviewing our IP laws, to see if we can make them fit for the internet age. I want to encourage the sort of creative innovation that exists in America."

Commented Jim Killock of the UK Open Rights group: "It is long overdue - some of our copyright laws are frankly preposterous.”


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11695416
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5369

IT and Ad Titans Unite to Curb Online Privacy Abuses

What do Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook and WPP Group have in common? All are afeared that abuse of online privacy could kill the goose that laid the golden advertising egg. In particular they are worried by the tracking of onliners' web-surfing habits in order to target ads. So much so that they have pledged their support for a new self-regulatory system to police such abuses. It's part of a drive by ad agencies and the IT industry to get their cyber-house in order before the heavy hand of federal intervention does it for them. Explains Interactive Advertising Bureau chief Randall Rothenberg ...

[Estimated timeframe:Q3 2010 - onward]

..."what we are really talking about here is trying to make the interactive advertising supply chain much more visible, more transparent to consumers, so that they have a much better ability to understand what is going on, and act on it."

Leading the initiative are a coalition of trade groups, including the Council of Better Business Bureaus and the US Direct Marketing Association.

Building on a set of voluntary guidelines issued in July 2009 that requires avertisers and website owners to clearly explain how they track and use the information they collect about consumers' online activities, the new policing system is designed to determine whether websites and ad companies that collect data on consumers are complying with those guidelines.

The latest rules require disclosure about how information is collected and subsequently used. And also call for a simple method for consumers to opt out of information-tracking. Although the latest initiative has no enforcement authority, it is hoped that peer pressure and the threat of public exposure will bring violators to heel.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5290

European Parliament Backs Standardized Food Labelling Scheme

European Union shoppers face a bewildering variety of processed-foods labelling - unsurprising given the plethora of products and languages within the economic bloc. A flaw exploited by many food manufacturers from within and outside the European Union. Last week, however, Euro-MPs backed plans for uniform food labelling within the EU, although rejecting as potentially alarmist "traffic light" colour-coding of foods perceived as unhealthy because they are high in fat, sugar or salt. Instead they opted for 'Guideline Daily Amounts' (GDAs), instead of red/amber/green warning labels.

But however slowly the Mills of God may grind, those of the European Union grind even slower ...

[Estimated timeframe:Q3 2010 - 2013]

... in that last week's vote by MEPs is unlikely to lead to new food labels before three to five years have elapsed.

In the meantime, the new rules "make it clear that [the EU] won't stand for people being misled by food packaging". Key nutritional information, including salt, fat and sugar content, will have to be displayed on the front of the pack.

Country of origin is another area where MEPs and the European Commission feel that food labels can be misleading. They cite, for instance, Danish bacon, which is sometimes labelled "UK produce" even though the pigs were reared in Denmark.

Arguments are raging over how much information to give consumers on pack fronts. Food industry lobbyists fear an excessive administrative burden.

Legibility is also a key issue, with the EC proposing a minimum 3-millimetre font size for pack labelling.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: BBC.co.uk
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5284

FCC Move to Reclassify Broadband Cheered by Neutralists, Hissed by Big Media


In a predictable polarization of interests, the opposing armies of internet freedom-fighters and Big Media, have formed battle lines to attack/defend the Federal Communications Commission's decision to "consider" reclassifying broadband access as a Title 2 telecoms service. "Consider," mind - not actually do so - an option that just conceivably might - with a following wind - possibly lead to controlling Big Media's God-granted right to maximize the moolah it screws out of US consumers. Among those manning the trenches in support of the FCC is ...

[Estimated timeframe:Q3 2010 - onward]

... Senator Jay Rockefeller (Democrat-West Virginia), chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation whose controversial battle-cry is that: "We need to develop [long term] consensus to update the law, further safeguard consumers, and spur universal broadband deployment."

In the facing trench are Republican stalwarts, Representative Cliff Stearns (Florida) and Representative Joe Barton (Texas) who wrote a joint letter to Democratic House leaders requesting a hearing "on the legal validity and policy consequences" of the plan - which they describe as a proposal "to regulate the internet."

Adds the duo: "With 95 percent of the country having access to broadband, and 200 million subscribers and counting, we do not see any urgency to legislate." 

The FCC proposes three alternative possibilities ...

  • To continue to treat broadband as an information service subject to Title I of the Communications Act [the staus quo].
  • To reclassify broadband as a Title II "telecommunications service."
  • The third alternative - which draws on a plan put forward last month by FCC chairman Julius Genachowski - is to reclassify broadband access as Title II while agreeing to forbear from many of the regulations applicable to telephone companies, including ones related to pricing.

Genachowski is pushing the latter proposal, the so-called "third way," as an avenue to "continue the same light-touch approach to broadband access policy that the agency has pursued for the past decade."

He believes - as do other supporters - that the third-way approach will restore the FCC's ability to enact neutrality regulations that would ban internet service providers from either degrading or prioritizing traffic.

It's not a view shared by AT&T senior evp Jim Cicconi, who called the FCC's decision "troubling and, in many respects, unsettling,"

He explains: "The internet is commonly defined as 'a network of networks,' and the FCC proposes to regulate broadband networks virtually end to end under a regulatory structure devised in 1934 for monopoly telephone networks. This is impossible to justify on either a policy or legal basis, and we remain confident that if the FCC persists in its course - and we truly hope it does not - the courts will surely overturn their action."

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: MediaPost.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5274

FCC's Oversight of High-Speed Internet Could Cost Over $62 Billion, Attack Dogs Warn

Big Media - the likes of AT&T, CBS, Comcast, Cox, NewsCorp, Time Warner Cable and T-Mobile - has launched a concerted scare campaign in a bid to scupper oversight of America's planned high-speed broadband system by the Federal Communications Commission. The opening salvo was fired by a report co-authored by the seemingly independent New York University Law School with an outfit called Entropy Economics - whose president Bret Swanson  is a former senior fellow at The Progress & Freedom Foundation.  This organization, by strange coincidence,  numbers among its membership such august enterprises as AT&T, CBS, Comcast, Cox, NewsCorp, Time Warner and T-Mobile. The report is silent as to these relationships ... although it atones for this with some strident scarifying ...

[Estimated timeframe:Q3 2010 - 2015]

... as Business Week reports: "Proposed regulation of high-speed Internet service providers by the U.S. government could cost the economy at least $62 billion annually over the next five years and eliminate 502,000 jobs, according to the study released this week by New York University Law School.

"Broadband providers and related industries may cut their investments by 10 percent to 30 percent from 2010 to 2015 in response to additional regulation. At 30 percent, the economy might sustain an $80 billion hit, according to Charles Davidson, director of the law school's Advanced Communications Law & Policy Institute, which released the report on June 16.

If the FCC ogre intervenes in the sacred rite of screwing the consumer, darkly warns Bret Swanson, president of Entropy Economics who co-authored the study with Davidson, "there will be follow-on effects in the whole ecosystem. A diminution of investment by the big infrastructure companies will reduce network capacity, new services, and investment by all the ecosystem companies," such as application providers and device manufacturers."

Certain of the report's paymasters fear the FCC may strive to lower the price of high-speed Internet access for consumers. Business Week refers to a report dated May 28 in which Sanford C Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett notes that around one-third of Americans can't afford broadband access, which the new regulation could change.

His report kicks-off with the aphorism: "The road to Hell, it is said, is paved with good intentions."

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: BusinessWeek.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5270

First Previous 1 2 3 4 5  ... Next Last