Because the sun rose in the east today and will set in the west, it’s time to talk about cheese: Specifically, Parmesan cheese made in the United States. The European Union is setting up to fight to keep American-made cheese from having the right to be called Parmesan. [More]
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]
Budget airline Ryanair, of the standing room-only cabins idea, has big plans for its Irish rival Aer Lingus. But it can’t get down to that happy future of slashing customer comfort and stripping the flying experience down to bare bones just yet because the European Union has blocked its third attempt to acquire its competitor. [More]
There’s no such thing as “pure chocolate,” says a European Union high court, and the phrase cannot appear on the front of candy packages. [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.
Today Mattel announced a recall of 155,000 Mexican-made toys being sold in countries throughout Europe and the United States. There’s no lead contamination this time around; the recall was announced “due to concerns that small pieces could detach from the toys and cause children to choke.” The product is the Laugh & Learn Learning Kitchen Toy, part of the Fisher-Price range.
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.