#thecircuit

September 27, 2012

E.U. moves to charge Microsoft: The European Union’s lead on antitrust, Joaquin Almunia, told reporters Thursday that regulators will soon open a formal proceeding against Microsoft, Reuters reported.

According to the report, the E.U. believes that Microsoft breached a 2009 antitrust settlement that promised to offer its users a choice between Web browsers — something the commission believes it has not done.

The company, too, acknowledged that it did not give Windows 7 users a browser choice in February 2011, the report said. Almunia reportedly also said that the commission would like to see Google to more to “eliminate our concerns”about anticompetitive behavior. The report said the regulator warned that, without a settlement, Google will face a long legal battle in Europe.

Microsoft general counsel and executive vice president Brad Smith was at the Brookings Institution Thursday to talk about a different issue facing the company — proposals on education and immigration reform to make it easier for American firms to employ overseas workers.

Brazilian police detain, release Google exec: Brazilian Google executive Fabio Jose Silva Coelho was released after being detained by police in Sao Paolo, a BBC report said.

Google could not be immediately reached for comment, but the company confirmed to the BBC that Coelho was released.

On Tuesday, a Brazilian court ruled that a YouTube video about a mayoral candidate violated election laws that prohibit disparaging personal remarks about candidates in an election. The order called for Coelho’s arrest, as well as s 24-hour blackout of Google and YouTube in Brazil.

In a statement Wednesday to The Washington Post, Google said it will appeal the decision.

FCC chairman circulates LTE order: Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski has circulated an order that recommends removing spectrum rules around valuable bands of airwaves to enable faster LTE deployment.

In a statement, the chairman’s office said removing the rules would address the country's spectrum crunch.

“By unleashing 20 megahertz of spectrum now – and up to 30 megahertz in the future – the Chairman continues to leave no stone unturned when it comes to maximizing opportunities to refill the mobile spectrum pipeline that had begun to run dry over the last decade,” the statement said.

AT&T was among the leading voices calling for looser regulations in the so-called Wireless Communication Services (WCS) band and submitted a proposal to use the spectrum for LTE in June.

Adrian Fenty joins Internet investment firm: Former D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty has joined Andreessen Horowitz as a special adviser, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

He will be working on ways to help city governments interact with technology firms; an example, the report said, would be an issue such as the discussion between the car-sharing service Uber and the District.

Fenty joins another top political name at the firm, former National Economic Adviser Lawrence Summers, who joined last year.

E.U. releases cloud plan: The European Union Thursday released a new plan for cloud computing that it hopes will make using the technology easier.

E.U. officials said that they will be looking closely at the standards for cloud computing by 2013 to make sure that the policies in place will allow sector growth.

The announcement was hailed by software groups such as the Business Software Alliance, which called it a “positive first step,” but cautioned that a truly successful cloud must extend beyond one continent.

The Software and Information Industry Association also welcomed the report but said that the E.U. must be careful not to treat “the cloud” as a single entity and recognize that different sectors have different needs and that the consumer and enterprise cloud markets are very different.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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