EU antitrust authorities may narrow Amazon investigation – sources

EU antitrust authorities may narrow Amazon investigation – sources

EU antitrust regulators may narrow the scope of their year-long investigation into Amazon to speed up the case against the U.S. online retail giant, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. Splitting up the Amazon case could address complaints by rivals that antitrust enforcers take too long to address harm done to them through anti-competitive practices and that rulings fail to keep pace with evolving markets. EU regulators adopted a similar tactic against Alphabet Inc’s Google by first addressing complaints about its price comparison shopping service and then opening investigations…

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Fears arise over Italy’s “monopoly” plans to create a unified broadband network

Fears arise over Italy’s “monopoly” plans to create a unified broadband network

Concerns have emerged among EU consumer groups that plans in Italy to establish a single firm overseeing the rollout of the country’s future broadband infrastructure could lead to a ‘quasi-monopolistic’ market structure. Italian Telecommunications firm TIM has plans to merge with rival Open Fiber in a bid to roll out a single ultrafast broadband network in the country, which has received the backing of the Italian government. At the end of August, TIM had signed off on an agreement with Italy’s public investment bank Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), allowing…

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EU budget negotiations: parliament sees ball in court of German presidency

EU budget negotiations: parliament sees ball in court of German presidency

Negotiations on the EU’s long-term budget will enter their seventh round on Thursday (8 October). The European Parliament, which demands more money for EU programmes and clarity on the rule of law, views the ball in the German Council Presidency’s court. Marathon negotiations on the EU’s seven-year budget are currently underway in the Parliament. On average twice a week, MEPs sit down with representatives from the Commission and the Council to settle the final points of contention and make the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) ready for a vote. On Thursday,…

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Europe’s joblessness rate increases for fifth consecutive month in August

Europe’s joblessness rate increases for fifth consecutive month in August

While the unemployment rate in the eurozone reached 8.1% in August, it rose to 7.4% for the bloc as a whole, according to Eurostat. In a year marked by the COVID-19 health crisis, unemployment in the EU and the eurozone has been rising for the fifth consecutive month. On 1 September, the EU’s statistical office, Eurostat, reported that unemployment in July stood at 7.9% in the 19 eurozone countries and 7.2% in the EU as a whole. But on Thursday (1 October), the EU body corrected both figures for the…

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Tesco sets 300% sales focus for plant-based meat alternatives

Tesco sets 300% sales focus for plant-based meat alternatives

Tesco is to become the first UK retailer to set a sales target for plant-based alternatives to meat as it steps up efforts to offer shoppers more sustainable options. The UK’s largest supermarket will on Tuesday commit to boosting sales of meat alternatives by 300% within five years, by 2025. Over the past year, demand for chilled meat-free foods – the most popular line including burger, sausage and mince substitutes – has increased by almost 50%, the retailer said. As a result, it is expanding into more categories and creating…

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Farmers need financial security to support the implementation of agroforestry

Farmers need financial security to support the implementation of agroforestry

In a clear nod to the strategic importance of agroforestry, the term has now cropped up in both the European Green Deal, the European Commission’s roadmap for making Europe the first climate neutral continent by 2050, and the EU’s flagship new food policy, the Farm to Fork (F2F) strategy. “The  Commission will ensure that Strategic Plans are assessed against robust climate and environmental criteria. These plans should lead to the use of sustainable practices,  such as precision agriculture, organic farming, agro-ecology, agro-forestry and stricter animal welfare standards,” the communication on…

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Chinese business wants less bureaucracy in the EU

Chinese business wants less bureaucracy in the EU

The Chinese business community in Europe would like to see less ‘red tape’ and regulatory barriers for its firms on the bloc, but is also open to the idea of offering further opportunities for EU business in China, says Zhou Lihong. Zhou Lihong is the Chairwoman of the China Chamber of Commerce to the EU. Economic ties between the EU and China have become strained over recent months. How has the business community in Beijing reacted? Two recent developments clearly illustrate the interdependence of the Sino-European economic partnership, which has…

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Gender Equality: How Post-COVID Recovery Programs Taken a Step Backward

Gender Equality: How Post-COVID Recovery Programs Taken a Step Backward

With domestic violence and health issues having affected French women more than men during the COVID-19 health crisis, the economic consequences of the pandemic have also impacted the country’s employment sector and have widened the gender inequality gap. In May, when most countries started to lift their coronavirus measures, the unemployment rate for women in OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] countries reached 9.08% compared to 7.99% for men, according to figures released by the organisation in mid-July. While the gap over the same period was smaller for the…

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Toyota reveals plan to convert trucks into eco-friendly “powertrains”

Toyota reveals plan to convert trucks into eco-friendly “powertrains”

Portable emissions-free “power plants” could soon hit the road under plans by Toyota to fit some of the company’s light-duty trucks with hydrogen fuel cells that can generate electricity. The world’s second-largest carmaker will begin testing the plan to fit a Toyota Dyna with hydrogen fuel cells in Japan later this month, a move that could create fleets of temporary, mobile electricity sources worldwide. The specially equipped vans could generate electricity for 72 hours straight and could potentially replace the diesel-fuelled mini generators that typically power outdoor sporting events, concerts…

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business leaders support the EU project targets on carbon emissions of 55% until 2030

business leaders support the EU project targets on carbon emissions of 55% until 2030

More than 150 business leaders and investors have urged EU countries to set higher climate goals for 2030, backing a draft European Commission plan to aim for a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade. A coalition of 157 multinational companies, 21 business associations and investor groups expressed their support for increased climate ambition in an open letter, published on Tuesday (15 September). European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will argue on Wednesday (16 September) in favour of a 55% emissions cut by 2030…

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