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European Regulatory Spotlight: Nokia sues Huawei in 4G patent clash

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European Regulatory Spotlight: Nokia sues Huawei in 4G patent clash

In this bi-weekly feature, SNL Kagan provides a roundupof significant recent regulatory events in Europe.

TOP NEWS

* NokiaCorp. filed a U.S. federal lawsuit in Texas against smartphone maker Huawei alleging patent infringement of three 4G technologiesand the refusal to negotiate licensing terms, according to a July 17 iFeng Techreport.

PAN-EUROPEAN

* GoogleCEO Sundar Pichai defended the company's taxpractices in Europe, amid a number of probes the  unit is facing within the EU, AFP reportedon July 17. Pichai reportedly saidGoogle is pitted "between the conflicting priorities of international taxlaw," while adding that the U.K.'s recent decision to leave the EU willpose further challenges to the company.

* The EuropeanUnion and the U.S. finally adopted the Privacy Shield  on transatlantic data transfers, U.S. CommerceSecretary Penny Pritzker and the European Commission said in separate statements.However, European MP Jan-Philipp Albrecht and Austrian privacy activist MaxSchrems said in a July 12 opinion piece for TheIrish Times (Dublin) that the ECshould "hold off on activating Privacy Shield until more work is done onthe U.S. side."

UK AND IRELAND

* The New ZealandCommerce Commission said ina July 14 statement that it is investigatingwhether the proposed merger of Vodafone's New Zealandunit and SKY NetworkTelevision will result in asubstantial loss of market competition. The regulator is hoping to make adecision on the deal by Nov. 11, or earlier if no issues are identified.

* EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestagerreportedly told Irish FinanceMinister Michael Noonan that a tax ruling on amount of back taxes  willneed to pay in relation to its tax  inIreland could be out in September or October, Bloomberg News reportedon July 14.

* Facebookclaimed that the Irish Data ProtectionCommissioner's draft ruling on EU-U.S. data transfers could cost the Europeaneconomy €143 billion a year if upheld, the Irish Independent (Dublin) reportedon July 8. Commissioner Helen Dixon found thatFacebook's transatlantic data transfer channels are invalid due to insufficientU.S. legal protections for European privacy rights.

WESTERN EUROPE

* -owned Skype will appeal a€223,000 fine imposed by Belgian telecom regulator BIPT, De Tijd reportedon July 15. According to BIPT, Skype mustregister as a telecom operator, due to its service SkypeOut, which can be usedfor calls to mobile and landline numbers.

* 's proposed musicstreaming-related copyright law could be a direct legislative shot at , DI Digital reportedon July 17. Apple wants to simplify the complex way song-writing royalties arepaid for on-demand streaming services in the U.S., but Spotify believes it isthe target of the iPhone maker's law change initiative, according to the report.

* providers Vodafone and Ziggo offeredconcessions to the European Commission to secure antitrust approval for theirplanned merger,Reuters reported on July 13. The EUantitrust authority will decide on the deal Aug. 3 and is expected to seek morefeedback from competitors before accepting the offer or demanding moreconcessions. Vodafone Nederland is a unit of VodafoneUK, while LibertyGlobal owns Ziggo.

* The StockholmDistrict Court moved up the court trial date for former Fingerprint Cards ABCEO Johan Carlström to April 2017, Affärsvärlden reportedon July 11. The case, which was expected tostart in November 2017, involves possible breaches of insider trading rules.

SOUTHERN AND EASTERN EUROPE

* Portugalstarted implementing new rules that seek to boost consumer protection intelecom contracts, Telecompaper reportedon July 19. Under the rules, operators must save a recording of calls forcontracts made by phone. In the case of contracts made in person, the telcosmust inform customers about the contract period in writing.

* Uber will temporarily cease its  operations, following a new law that will allow thecountry's communications watchdog to block internet access to "illegaldispatcher services," Reuters reportedon July 13, citing an Uber spokesperson for central Europe. The legislationcomes after local cab drivers protested for months against the ride-hailingservice.

* Rostelecomis suing Muz-TV in the Moscow Arbitration Courtfor 151 million Russian rubles in alleged unpaid dues, Broadband TV News reportedon July 11. Rostelecom is seeking payment for access to its terrestrialfrequency following an agreement with Muz-TV in 2012, and marks the thirdlawsuit regarding the matter.