43 Marketing Trends found for Regulation / Mainland Europe

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EU Commission Launches Probe into Practices of Online Giants

Trend Summary: Following the EU’s announcement of it’s new digital strategy, US online giants such as Google and Amazon could face an anti-trust probe. 

The announcement coincides with the European Commission’s presentation of its new digital strategy and the launch of an enquiry into the trade bloc’s e-commerce sector. Primary candidates for scrutiny are internet titans Google, Amazon and Facebook, especially the manner in which they have …  

[Estimated timeframe:Q2 2015 onward]

... used their influence and power in the European market.

The outcome of the probe will determine whether these companies have to be regulated more tightly. 

The inquiry will focus on the transparency of search results and pricing policies, how online platforms use the data they obain, their relationships with other businesses and how they promote their own services to the potential disadvantage of competitors.

The investigation was announced as part of the EU's Digital Single Markets Strategy, unveiled earlier this week by Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip.

According to Mr Ansip, the strategy will "prepare Europe to reap the benefits of a digital future" and "give people and companies the online freedoms to profit fully from Europe's huge internal market."

The proposals were welcomed by European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.

Read the original unabridged DeutscheWelle.com article. 

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

Source: DeutscheWelle.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=6593

EU to Curb Google's Advertising Dominance

Trend Summary: European Union regulators clamp down on Google, Facebook and other US invaders of personal privacy.

Last week Google became the latest (and arguably the hardest hit) of major US online businesses trading within the European Union, following the latter's decision to investigate Larry, Sergei and Eric's monolithic monster on allegations of anti-trust practices, specifically its ...

[Estimated timeframe:Q1 2015 onward]

... favouring, to the detriment of rivals, of Google's own web properties in search results .

Another of Google's current practices under investigation by the EU is the delivery of instant product reviews, thereby diverting traffic away from rivals such as Yelp.

According to an article by Garrett Sloane in today's AdWeek.com, punitive action by the EU could force Google to change its search tactics. Additionally, the probe could also veer into other aspects of its business that impact upon advertising.

Back in 2013, when the US Federal Trade Commission conducted a full investigation into Google's alleged business practices, the commissioners declined to label Google a search monopoly whilst, nevertheless, continuing to maintain a close watch on the company's commercial behaviour. 

Said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz: “The changes Google has agreed to make will ensure that consumers continue to reap the benefits of competition in the online marketplace and in the market for innovative wireless devices they enjoy.”

It appears that the EU is now adopting a similar stance.

Read the original unabridged AdWeek.com article.

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

Source: AdWeek.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=6568

EU Moves to Impose New Data Retention Law

Trend Summary: The European Commission is mulling a new law requiring telecoms companies to store communications data of EU citizens.

Following the European Court of Justice's recent rejection (on privacy concerns) of a proposed new law to fight terrorism, the European Commission is mulling new legislation that will compel telecom companies to retain the communications data of all EU citizens. The move was  triggered by the murderous Islamist attacks in Paris last month, focussing the attention of European Union leaders on how best to ... 

[Estimated timeframe:Q1 2015 onward]

... intensify counter-terrorism efforts within the EU.

For example this might require the creation of an EU-wide system for storing all airline passenger data.

This would require a careful balancing act, as the EU Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos notes: "On the one hand, the fundamental role that telecommunications records could play in the fight against terrorism and, on the other, the importance of adopting a cautious and measured approach".

According to the minutes of the Commission's meeting, Mr Avramopoulos intends to launch a consultation on the issue to determine whether a new law on data retention that respects privacy rights could be prepared over the coming year.

Following the proposed law's initial rejection by the European Court in 2014, Britain rushed through emergency legislation requiring UK-based telecoms firms to retain customer data for one year thereby prompting criticism from privacy campaigners.

Read the original unabridged Reuters.com article.

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

Source: Reuters.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=6501

EU Mulls Net Neutrality Law

Trend Summary: The EU's new vice president for matters digital has voiced his support for the concept that all internet traffic be treated in the same way.

Andrus Ansip, the European Union's commissioner for the digital single market, is backing the principle of so-called "net neutrality" -  the concept that all internet traffic should be treated equally. If adopted, the legislation means that internet service providers [ISPs] will not in future be allowed to cherry-pick which websites consumers can access. Nor will ISPs be able to preferentially ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2014 onward]

... route traffic to or from certain sites faster than others.

Mr Ansip's move is timely, given that the bloc’s telecoms ministers will today discuss dropping the definition of the concept from upcoming new legislation.

In a speech delivered to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, commissioner Ansip declared: “The net neutrality concept has to be solid and should be clearly defined.”

“Our citizens want the best the internet can offer, they want an internet that is safe and accessible to everybody ... this is not a reality in Europe today.”

He continued: “One particular area to address will involve putting a stop to blocking of online consumers based on their location or residence.

“This will be about reforming and modernizing copyright rules and getting rid of unjustified curbs on transfer and access to digital assets."

Read the original unabridged WSJ.com article.

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=6460

New EU Data Laws Could Shackle Marketers

Bottom Line: Marketers operating within the European Union are likely to be shackled by stringent new EU data protection laws.

The ongoing battle between big data and individual privacy reached its zenith earlier this month when the European Parliament voted in favour of harsh new data protection regulations. Predictably this was not to the liking of adland's trade bodies, among them the World Federation of Advertisers and the EU-focused Industry Coalition for Data Protection (whose membership includes the WFA and the EU branch of the American Chamber of Commerce), all of whom were ... 

[Estimated timeframe:Q4 2013 onward]

... furiously lobbying ahead of the vote in the hope of negotiating a lighter-touch regime that takes into account the interests of business. 

Argues Malte Lohan, director of public affairs at the WFA: "The European Parliament wants to make the toughest privacy law the world has ever seen. The EU is championing the rights of citizens, but it's not that straightforward - this could undermine the digital economy."

The first crucial issue is around the definition of personal data.

The Data Protection Regulation could include not only personal information like names, bank details and passport numbers, but all sorts of identifiers that marketers routinely use – and consider to be anonymous -- in the world of big data.

The second - and equally crucial - bill centres on the definition of consent.

It seeks explicit, prior, opt-in consent at every turn, asking consumers to negotiate a cookie wall before they can engage in such routine activities as checking the weather or viewing the news.

Posits Mr Lohan: "From a marketer point of view it's totally disproportionate."

The proposals were first outlined last year. Since then, Jan-Philipp Albrecht, a Member of the European Parliament who represents the German Green Party, has been working on refining the complex document.

Reports AdAge: "Mr Albrecht specializes in civil liberties and is tough on privacy issues."

Read the original unabridged AdAge.com article.

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

Source: AdAge.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=6194

EU Moots Built-In Broadband for All New Houses

Bottom Line: A new European Union proposal, if approved, will require all new houses built within the EU to be equipped with an integrated  broadband system.

The draft legislation, proposed by European Commission vice-president Neelie Kroes, has significant implications for the digital marketing and telecoms industries. The plan is part of the EC's strategy to extend broadband access across the EU. But there's also a downside: although making broadband installation mandatory in every new-build house would be good for consumers and internet service providers ... 

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2014 - 2016]

 ... the deal would lock Europe into a single connective technology and has fewer benefits for the industry that will have to execute the strategy - the house builders.

Wall Street Journal blogger Anna Leach reports that the proposals draw on good practice from all over Europe, though the only country with mandatory broadband in new builds is Spain.

The new regulations will initially be submitted to the European Parliament, then to the twenty-seven individual member states — a process that normally takes around two years.

Telcos are predictably enthusiatic about the proposals. Says Tom Ruhan, chairman of the European Competitive Telecommunications Association: “The proposals to reduce the costs of deployment of fibre networks are very welcome.”

While a Vodafone spokesman said: “We welcome the Commission’s proposals which are pragmatic and urgently needed.”

The benefit to telcos is estimated by the EC to be €40-60 billion – the amount the Commission expects them to save as the new regulation reduces their civil engineering costs by 30%.

As a secondary benefit, European telcos will also efforlessly acquire hundreds of thousands of new customers.

Read the original unabridged WSJ.com article.

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=6063

Obama Calls on EU to Ink Future Free Trade Pact

Bottom Line: US president Barack Obama yesterday called on the European Union to engage in talks on a far-reaching free trade agreement.

Said Mr Obama in his annual State of the Union speech: "Tonight I am announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union". The deal with the twenty-seven nation trading bloc, if implemented, would create an entity accounting for half the world's economic output. An expanded agreement would also ... 

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2013 onward]

... unite the USA, the world's largest economy, with four other 'top ten' nations: Germany, the UK, France and Italy.

It would also help defuse the long running rift between the US and EU over the free flow of information across borders.

This is an increasingly important priority for US multinational mammoths like GoogleFacebook and Amazon but could be hard for EU members France and Germany to accept because of privacy concerns.

The USA and European Union already enjoy the largest economic relationship in the world - albeit (according to Reuters) "one of the most complicated".

Acknowledging that negotiations will be tough, Representative Dave Camp, the Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, welcomed President Obama's initiative. "A strong, comprehensive trade and investment agreement with the EU has the potential to create significant good-paying jobs for Americans," said Camp.

Mr Camp and the Senate Finance Committee leaders also said they planned to push this year for renewal of "trade promotion authority," a law that expired in 2007 that allowed the White House to submit trade deals to Congress for a straight yes-or-no vote without any amendments.

Such legislation has long been considered essential in persuading other countries to put their best offers on the table in trade talks with the United States.

Read the original unabridged Reuters article.

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

Source: Reuters.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=6030

EU Warns Citizens of US Privacy Invasion Threat

Bottom Line: A study commissioned by the European Union warns that US authorities could use a Federal Act to access European users' data stored on US-based social media sites.

Although the US Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Amendments Act [FISA], renewed late last month, does not apply outside the USA, the European Union has warned its citizens that US authorities could use the Act to access European users' data stored on US-based servers - for example Facebook and other US-located social media sites. A study commissioned by the EU found that ... 

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2013 onward]

... EU citizens' data stored on US servers is not protected from access by a third party.

According to a report commissioned by the EU and carried out by the Centre for European Policy Studies, America's so-called Patriot Act gives US authorities the legal right to access foreign citizens' data stored within US borders.

Commenting on the report, European Parliament member Jan Philipp Albrecht insists that "this study is absolutely not about generating panic." 

According to Mr Albrecht, most users don't even know where their data is stored. 

"It's a simple fact that the US data protection law only applies to US citizens." "But there are special laws that target the surveillance of non-US citizens", he added.

"This happens when sensitive data from big companies, like Microsoft, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook, are made available to US authorities for investigations." 

Thilo Weichert, data protection commissioner for the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein is also concerned at the power wielded by the US over EU citizens' data.

Mr Weichert has been following the implications of this development closely for more than two years, while pushing Facebook to allow its users to remain anonymous.

"The long arm of US law stretches as far as Europe," he said.

Read the original unabridged Deutche Welle article.

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

Source: DW.de
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=6016

Eurozone Will Teeter Toward Growth in 2013, Expand in 2014

Bottom Line: Good news and bad for marketers in (and to) the Eurozone. The EC forecasts that this year's 'disappointing' 0.4% contraction will be followed by 0.1% growth in 2013, with zone unemployment rising to 11.8%.

Although the UK - which remains outside the Eurozone - is expected to grow in 2013 by just 0.9%, the European Commission believes it will expand more quickly than any of the zone's major economies. The EC predicts that the seventeen nation currency area will see its strongest member, Germany, expanding by a disappointing 0.8% while France will manage ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2012 - Q4 2014 ]

... just 0.4% growth. Italy will contract by 0.5% and Spain will retrench by 1.4%

In all cases the predictions are that output will be weaker than expected by the respective national governments, leading to the zone's budget deficit reduction targets being missed.  

Says  economic and monetary affairs commissioner, Olli Rehn: "Europe is going through a difficult process of macro-economic rebalancing, which will still last for some time.

"Europe must continue to combine sound fiscal policies with structural reforms to create the conditions for sustainable growth to bring unemployment down from the current unacceptably high levels."

EC officials blame the deepening sovereign debt crisis and financial market concerns about a possible breakup of the Eurozone for its "disappointing" growth performance in 2012.

The Commission expects that domestic demand will make no contribution to Eurozone GDP in 2013, as the lack of jobs and tax increases hit consumer spending.

However, it expressed confidence that by 2014 the benefits of the austerity programmes would bear fruit, leading to expansion of 1.4%.

Read the original unabridged Guardian article.

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

Source: Guardian.co.uk
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5965

Is Threatened French Media Ban 'Writing on the Wall' for Google?

Bottom Line: The French government is contemplating legislation that will compel search engines to pay for content. Could this spell the beginning of the end for Google, Bing and the likes?

French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti said she favours such a law, prompting Google to threaten it would exclude French media sites from search results if France implements a plan to make search engines to pay for content. French newspapers have long pressed for this legislation, arguing it's unfair that Google receives ad revenues via searches for news. But in a letter to several French ministries, Google posits that ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2013 onward ]

... such a law "would threaten its very existence".

However, Culture Minister Filippetti is unmoved by the Mountain View mammoth's plea. She told a parliamentary commission that a 'pay for news search tax' is "a tool that it seems important to me to develop".

Google France, ever mindful of the general good, pleads that the plan "would be harmful to the internet, internet users and news websites that benefit from the  substantial traffic" garnered by newspapers via Google's search engine.

Google claims it redirects four billion clicks to French media pages each month.

While Google would comfortably survive any such move by the French government, it would not be unscathed.

The real threat to the search engine's global dominance and profitability lies in the adoption of similar legislation across Europe and other world regions.

Read the original unabridged BBC article.

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=5951

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