Tag Archives: European Union

Boeing wins WTO ruling declaring its corporate welfare legal

Source: US News & World Report

"Boeing notched a key victory in a years-long legal case against its European rival, Airbus, after an international body rejected the European Union's claims that Washington state was giving Boeing illegal tax incentives. … Monday's decision by the World Trade Organization's appellate body reverses a ruling by a lower WTO panel in November that said that Washington state — which is home to much of Boeing's plane manufacturing operations — had provided prohibited subsidies through a tax incentive for production of the Boeing 777X. The panel also called on the U.S. government to take action to end the support. The U.S. had appealed the panel's decision in December. Monday's ruling, which is final, found that none of the tax incentives provided by Washington state were illegal." (09/04/17)


Brexit: EU warns Britain to "start negotiating seriously"

Source: New Indian Express [India]

"The EU told Britain bluntly today that it had to get serious about the Brexit negotiations and address key separation issues first before any talks about its future relationship with the bloc. The European Union says there has to be 'sufficient progress' in three key areas — EU citizen rights, Northern Ireland's border and the exit bill — before it will turn to post-Brexit arrangements, possibly beginning in October. … Both sides have repeatedly warned that the clock is ticking down to the March 2019 Brexit deadline and that they are the ones doing their best to make progress." (08/28/17)


Spain: Breaking up is hard to do

Source: CounterPunch
by Conn Hallinan

"When the Catalans goes to the polls Oct. 1, much more than independence for Spain’s restive province will be at stake. In many ways the vote will be a sounding board for Spain’s future, but it is also a test of whether the European Union — divided between north and south, east and west — can long endure." (08/28/17)


UK: Regime may seek "temporary" customs union with EU

Source: Washington Post

"Britain might seek to remain in a customs union with the European Union for a time to avoid border chaos after leaving the bloc, the government’s Brexit department said Tuesday. The Department for Exiting the European Union said there could be 'a temporary customs union between the U.K. and the EU' to help businesses make the transition to life outside the EU. And it said a future 'customs partnership' could eliminate the need for a border for goods traveling between Britain and the EU." (08/15/17)


UK: Amid criticism, regime tries to show unity on Brexit

Source: Sacramento Bee

"The British government tried to fight back Sunday against criticisms that it is divided and unprepared for Brexit, saying it will set out detailed plans for the U.K.'s exit from the European Union and issuing a joint statement by two Cabinet rivals over Europe. Trade Secretary Liam Fox, a strong supporter of leaving the European Union, and the more pro-EU Treasury chief Philip Hammond, wrote in the Sunday Telegraph that they agreed there should be a 'time-limited' transition period after Britain formally leaves the bloc in 2019, to avoid a 'cliff-edge' for people and businesses. Fox and Hammond said the transition period 'cannot be indefinite; it cannot be a back door to staying in the EU.'" (08/13/17)


Profits at Google's parent slump on huge extortion payout

Source: Fortune

"Alphabet reported a 27.7% drop in quarterly profit as the company recorded a previously announced charge related to a record $2.7 billion fine imposed on its Google unit by the EU. EU antitrust regulators last month hit Google with a record 2.4-billion-euro ($2.7 billion) fine for favoring its own shopping service, taking a tough line in the first of three probes of its dominance in searches and smartphone operating systems." (07/24/17)


Belgium: UK's Davis resumes Brexit talks as cabinet splits turn ugly

Source: Bloomberg

"U.K. Brexit Secretary David Davis returned to Brussels Monday to resume Brexit talks with the European Union, as infighting among ministers in London over the future of Prime Minister Theresa May gathered pace. Davis and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, shook hands before talks started on the priority issues identified by the bloc, including the rights of EU citizens in the U.K. and Britain’s financial obligations. … Davis is in a rush to move talks toward the crucial issue of future trade even as open divisions in the cabinet back home make it hard for Europe to know what Britain wants. A Sunday Times photo montage illustrated May’s tenuous grip on power with an image of Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson — all names touted as potential successor — aiming pistols at each other." (07/17/17)


EU to reject Brexit deal if UK fails to secure "favorable" status for EU citizens


Source: CNBC

"The European Parliament has criticized the U.K.'s proposals on EU citizens' rights as a 'damp squib' and has vowed to reject a Brexit deal if Britain does not offer more. Chief negotiator Guy Verhofstadt and leaders of four of the parliament's main groups wrote in a joint letter to newspapers that Britain's plans for the three million EU citizens expecting to remain in the U.K. post-Brexit 'fall short' of what they are entitled to and what U.K. nationals are being offered in the EU." (07/10/17)


The EU's got it all wrong on Google

Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Sam Bowman

"By fining Google £2.1bn for giving special prominence to Google Shopping in shopping-related searches, European regulators have made exactly the same mistake that they and US regulators did when they fined Microsoft for bundling its Internet Explorer with Windows in the 1990s. The basic error is to assume that Google or Microsoft’s dominant position in the market is unchallengeable — that they are akin to 'natural monopolies' like, say, water or electricity companies, and can use their position to exploit consumers — and that instead of competition between platforms being able to take place, they must brute-force competition within those platforms. … If people can switch between platforms it doesn’t matter that much if, within a platform, there isn’t that much competition. Prioritising a particular shopping search engine is not akin to gouging water users with higher prices because there are alternatives to Google that users can switch to easily." (06/27/17)


EU extortionists demand €2.4 billion from Google

Source: The Verge

"Google has been hit with a record-breaking €2.42 billion ($2.7 billion) fine by the European Union for breaking antitrust law. The decision follows a seven-year investigation into the US company’s search algorithms, which ended with the judgement that Google had 'abused its dominant position by systematically favoring' its own shopping comparison service. Today’s fine is the largest antitrust judgement handed out by the executive body of the EU, the European Commission, and beats a €1 billion penalty given to Intel in 2009." (06/27/17)