Watch The Spoons

“The louder he talked of his honour, the faster we counted our spoons” and when you hear a politician talking about ‘neutrality and objectivity’ it’s time to look where his self-interest lies.

Last week EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia brought Ralph Waldo Emerson’s warning to mind when he said: “The Commission possesses all the elements necessary to evaluate Google’s proposals in a neutral and objective manner.”

Almunia looked like he was going to settle with Google. “I think the proposals put on the table by Google at the start of the year could resolve antitrust concerns,” he said.

The proposals might settle Almunia’s concerns but they don’t settle many other peoples’ concerns including the German Economics Minister and the French Digital Minister who have written to Almunia criticising the proposed settlement.

Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament who is a candidate for the Presidency of the EC, says he will negate any unsatisfactory deal done by Almunia if wins the presidency.

The feeling is that Europe must be very tough on the American technology companies following Edward Snowden’s revelations that these companies act as agents for the NSA.

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4 Comments

  1. david manners
    May 29, 2014 08:12

    Well actually, DontAgree, the US and EU regulatory authorities work quite closely together and I don’t think they would ever be so far apart as to dissuade US companies from making money in Europe.

  2. DontAgree
    May 29, 2014 03:17

    With sufficient regulations/fines towards these companies they might decide it is more profitable to leave. Indeed not forced to leave, but enticed to leave.

    But indeed it is unlikely it will come to that.

  3. david manners
    May 28, 2014 09:02

    There’s absolutely zero chance of Europe ‘kicking out ‘ US companies, DontAgree, it’s just that the EU insists on US companies’ compliance with EU law in their European operations.

  4. DontAgree
    May 28, 2014 05:59

    Indeed be very cautious in dealing with American companies … or any company that has a major presence in America … and indeed no need to worry (in Europe) about companies that do not have a major presence in America … they are such small fry that they don’t matter anyway …

    Of course if Europe kicks all the big companies out they would have a major problem too, just a different one … but at least you would have taken a stand right?
    It is sort of like going on a hunger strike.

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