Consumer Protection

Germany bans Uber’s ride-hailing services

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A court in Frankfurt has banned the US company Uber from sending ride-hailing requests to rental car companies via its app. The case was opened due to a complaint by a German taxi association. The...

Airbnb wins right to avoid tougher regulation in Europe

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The Court of Justice of the European Union has judged Airbnb to be an online platform, rather than an estate agent. The ruling was issued on 19 December, after a case was opened due to...

China calls for free trade deal with the EU

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China's foreign minister Wang Yi called on the European Union to open the way a free trade agreement with China. During his official visit to Brussels on 15 and 16 December, Wang said that free...

Apple, BMW, Dell, Ford urge Brussels to tackle unfair patent deals

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Apple and a coalition of 27 tech and automotive companies sent a letter to the European Commission this week, complaining that other companies abuse the patent system by refusing to license standard essential patents...

Instagram makes big step toward fighting misinformation

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Instagram is significantly expanding its fact-checking program as a part of its efforts to combat misinformation. The Facebook-owned social media app announced it will, for the first time, fact-check posts of all of its users...

Sackler family withdrew over $10bn in a decade from Purdue Pharma

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Members of the Sackler family who own the opioid maker Purdue Pharma LP, withdrew more than $10 billion from Purdue since 2008, according to court documents. Purdue Pharma, known for its product OxyContin, presented a...

US, Mexico, Canada finalise trade deal

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The United States, Mexico and Canada signed a deal on 10 December to finalise their new trade agreement, USMCA, after more than two years of negotiations. USMCA was first signed in 2018 to replace the...

EU sues Denmark over misuse of term ‘feta’ on Danish cheeses

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The European Commission decided on Monday to refer Denmark to the EU Court of Justice for failing to prevent or stop local companies from making and exporting outside the EU white cheese labelled as "feta", a term...

Europe needs common ESG standards to prevent greenwashing

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France’s top financial regulator, Robert Ophele, has urged Europe to set common standards for environmental, social, and governance to prevent widespread "greenwashing". Ophele added that regulators needed to be subject to "a common doctrine on...

Mounting concerns over Europe’s ‘digital sovereignty’

Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron have independently expressed reservations about Europe’s reliance on American and Chinese for data storage. Merkel made the point last week that companies outsource data storage to the US...

Australia takes Google to court over geolocation practices

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Australia is taking Google to court over geolocation data-collection practices. The Australian Consumer Commission (ACC) has filed a lawsuit on allegations that the electronics behemoth mislead the public on how location data are collected, kept...

Germany to phase out glyphosates in blow to Bayer/Monsanto

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The German government has joined Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, and Malta in recognising the need to phase out glyphosate-based weed killers by 2023. The decision announced on 4 September is a major...

Online selling VAT fraud could see a Brexit headache for UK’s HMRC

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Officials are preparing for an uptick in VAT compliance problems as the UK leaves the European Union. Online platforms like Amazon Marketplace and eBay are already under pressure to make sellers pay their share...

Amazon close to securing 10% of India’s second-biggest retailer

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The Amazon corporation is nearing a deal to acquire 10% of India's Future Retail, Bloomberg reports, allowing the US behemoth to move in one of the world's fastest-growing retail markets. Future Retail is India’s second-biggest...

UK could face food shortages in no-deal Brexit scenario, Britain’s food and drink lobby...

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UK to experience shortages of some fresh foods for weeks or even months if a disorderly no-deal Brexit leaves perishable produce rotting in lorries at ports, Britain’s food and drink lobby warned on Wednesday. Leaving...

EU integrates geographic indication registry for food and alcohol products

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The European Commission has launched eAmbrosia, the EU's Geographical Indication Register, which will give easy access to information on all geographically indicated products regardless of whether they have published or registered. First launched by the...

US court cuts punitive damages Monsanto will pay to Roundup victims

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The US appeals court has reduced the punitive damages Monsanto has to pay victims of its Roundup weedkiller from $80 to $25,27 million. The US Supreme Court is obliged to retain punitive to compensatory damages...

Airbnb to respect Commission demands on accommodation offers

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The global shared economy online accommodation platform Airbnb has given in to pressure from the European Commission pressure and will change the way it advertises the fees for its popular room-booking service, in order...

Banks warn that online payment regulations threaten convenient services

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Europe’s lenders have warned the European Commission that the sector will not be prepared by a 14 September deadline to abide by new online payment regulations – the so-called Second Payment Services Directive – without...

Johnson & Johnson faces opioid crisis litigation

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Pharmaceuticals behemoth Johnson & Johnson is facing a multi-billion dollar lawsuit in the US state of Oklahoma with prosecutors making the case that the company has for years marketed opioid-based painkillers and downplayed the risk...

Boeing admits that it knew about design problems ahead of 737 Max accidents

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American aeroplane manufacturer Boeing has admitted that it knew about and failed to correct a problem with its 737 Max jets a year before the aircraft was involved in two fatal accidents. The company said...

EU Court rules in favour of Manchego cheese producers

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Long considered two of Spain's most beloved cultural treasures, Manchego cheese and the fictional character Don Quixote, have been the subjects of a bitter dispute between Spanish cheese producers and their domestic and foreign rivals over...

Georgia is an investor’s graveyard masquerading as a business utopia

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For over four years, we, the American investors of Iconia Capital LLC, have had our construction business halted by powerful extra-legal and corrupt influences in the Republic of Georgia. Since starting our first project...

Danske Bank money-laundering scandal appears to have Swedish connection

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Swedbank, one of Sweden's four biggest banks, has become the latest financial institution to be embroiled in the ongoing money-laundering scandal that has engulfed Denmark's Danske Bank since early last year. Danske is under investigation...

Czechs and Slovaks to hold checks in all Polish beef imports

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Czech veterinary inspectors have traced the deliveries of Salmonella-infected Polish beef that were shipped to the Czech Republic in recent weeks, according to a spokesman for the Czech Veterinary Authority reported. According to the Czech...

Belgian ban on religious animal slaughter angers Jewish and Muslim communities

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A controversial decision by the Belgian region of Flanders to ban ritual animal slighter for religious purposes has angered the country's large Jewish and Muslim minorities, both of whom view the move as evidence that the...

Non-EU companies must appoint legal representatives to sell in the Single Market

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Beginning on January 1, 2020, businesses from outside the EU will now need to appoint a legal representative that will be held liabile in the event that their product do not adhere to the...

Tech companies warn of turbulence ahead as EU-US work on trade deal

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The internet as we know it may still end. That is the stark warning delivered by a consortium of major technology companies - Facebook, Google, Amazon, and others - to the US Trade Representative...

IMF warns that Spain’s real estate market risks overheating

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned Spain that its real estate market is dangerously inching towards overheating as the housing industry faces growing questions about its financial stability. “House prices have increased in recent years,...

The revolution Europe needs

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The spontaneous street protests in Paris over the past month come almost exactly 50 years after the mass revolt of May 1968. But that is not to say the two events are comparable. Les événements...

Why Italy’s newly proposed budget is the right step forward

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New Europe’s Federico Grandesso spoke exclusively with Massimo Bitonci, Italy's Under Secretary for Economy and Finance, who underlined the positives of the Italian budget plan that was recently rejected by the European Commission, and also discussed some weaknesses that...

Commission pressures Malta over its financial transparency

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The European Commission is gearing up to send an unprecedented rebuke of the Maltese government over their failure to reign in widespread money laundering. The Commission's warning includes references to "systemic shortcoming" by Malta's Financial Intelligence Analysis...

How will Central and Eastern Europe respond to a far more impactful (mobility) transition?

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The transition to low emission mobility is key to achieving Europe’s energy and climate objectives and easily the most difficult. Whereas decarbonisation of sectors like agriculture and buildings are relatively straightforward with established financial...

Will Italy Destroy the Eurozone?

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Eurosceptic discourse is now mainstream in Italy. The current government is a coalition that encompasses both the left and right traditions of sovereigntist politics. The economy is at the epicentre of this discussion, with the...

Good Politics, Bad Economics

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Bad economics breeds bad politics. The global financial crisis, and the botched recovery thereafter, put wind in the sails of political extremism. Between 2007 and 2016, support for extremist parties in Europe doubled. France’s National Rally (formerly...

Can Trade Agreements Be a Friend to Labour?

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Labour advocates have long complained that international trade agreements are driven by corporate agendas and pay little attention to the interests of working people. The preamble of the World Trade Organization Agreement mentions the objective of...

Regulating cash transfers at the EU’s external borders to prevent crime

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Over the last few years, Europe has suffered unprecedented terrorist violence that has killed hundreds of citizens, while also experiencing a rise in cross-border organised economic crime. The experience shows that one of the...