Regulators over in Europe are checking into Apple’s deals with cellphone carriers after complaints that the iPhone contracts the company uses stifle competition. There are no formal complaints yet, but a group of wireless carriers banded together to submit info about their various contracts to the European Commission, in a move reportedly started by French carriers. [More]
As part of their multi-pronged effort to fight the financial Godzilla besieging the world economy, the European Commission today proposed a 14-day no-questions-asked return period for any online purchases made within the European Union. The “two-week cooling-off period” is designed to give consumers a chance to shop across borders for the best prices without worrying about return policies. The practically adorable European decision to respond to a financial crisis with consumer protections made us want to look inwards at some of the onerous return policies Americans face.
Viviane Reding, the European Union’s Telecommunications Commissioner, is our new wireless hero. She’s demanding that wireless carriers in Europe begin billing on a per-second basis rather than per-minute, because “at the retail level, the difference between billed and actual minutes appears to be typically around 20 percent.”
Here’s something everyone can be thankful for—the Chinese, Europeans, and tangentially everyone in America and the rest of the world who have spent the better part of last year dodging lead bullets from the factory nation. The European Union’s consumer chief has said that China has made “quantum leaps” in improving its safety protocols, and will therefore not face a ban in the EU.
China’s toy imports make up more than half the toy market in the EU, and apparently their lax safety record hasn’t escaped the grim, existential gaze of Europe. Meglena Kuneva, an EU commissioner, put it quite bluntly in front of the EU’s internal market and consumer protection committee last week: “This is the last warning. If there’s an unsatisfactory report in October we will [impose] the next layer of measures. Among them is a ban on products,” which the Associated Press reports could include toys.
A new European directive bans businesses from creating fake blogs, or posting positive reviews about themselves without revealing their identity.