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Paul Merrell

Press corner | European Commission - 0 views

  • The European Commission has informed Amazon of its preliminary view that it has breached EU antitrust rules by distorting competition in online retail markets. The Commission takes issue with Amazon systematically relying on non-public business data of independent sellers who sell on its marketplace, to the benefit of Amazon's own retail business, which directly competes with those third party sellers. The Commission also opened a second formal antitrust investigation into the possible preferential treatment of Amazon's own retail offers and those of marketplace sellers that use Amazon's logistics and delivery services. Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “We must ensure that dual role platforms with market power, such as Amazon, do not distort competition.  Data on the activity of third party sellers should not be used to the benefit of Amazon when it acts as a competitor to these sellers. The conditions of competition on the Amazon platform must also be fair.  Its rules should not artificially favour Amazon's own retail offers or advantage the offers of retailers using Amazon's logistics and delivery services. With e-commerce booming, and Amazon being the leading e-commerce platform, a fair and undistorted access to consumers online is important for all sellers.”
  • Amazon has a dual role as a platform: (i) it provides a marketplace where independent sellers can sell products directly to consumers; and (ii) it sells products as a retailer on the same marketplace, in competition with those sellers. As a marketplace service provider, Amazon has access to non-public business data of third party sellers such as the number of ordered and shipped units of products, the sellers' revenues on the marketplace, the number of visits to sellers' offers, data relating to shipping, to sellers' past performance, and other consumer claims on products, including the activated guarantees. The Commission's preliminary findings show that very large quantities of non-public seller data are available to employees of Amazon's retail business and flow directly into the automated systems of that business, which aggregate these data and use them to calibrate Amazon's retail offers and strategic business decisions to the detriment of the other marketplace sellers. For example, it allows Amazon to focus its offers in the best-selling products across product categories and to adjust its offers in view of non-public data of competing sellers. The Commission's preliminary view, outlined in its Statement of Objections, is that the use of non-public marketplace seller data allows Amazon to avoid the normal risks of retail competition and to leverage its dominance in the market for the provision of marketplace services in France and Germany- the biggest markets for Amazon in the EU. If confirmed, this would infringe Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) that prohibits the abuse of a dominant market position.
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    "In addition, the Commission opened a second antitrust investigation into Amazon's business practices that might artificially favour its own retail offers and offers of marketplace sellers that use Amazon's logistics and delivery services (the so-called "fulfilment by Amazon or FBA sellers"). In particular, the Commission will investigate whether the criteria that Amazon sets to select the winner of the "Buy Box" and to enable sellers to offer products to Prime users, under Amazon's Prime loyalty programme, lead to preferential treatment of Amazon's retail business or of the sellers that use Amazon's logistics and delivery services. The "Buy Box" is displayed prominently on Amazon's websites and allows customers to add items from a specific retailer directly into their shopping carts. Winning the "Buy Box" (i.e. being chosen as the offer that features in this box) is crucial to marketplace sellers as the Buy Box prominently shows the offer of one single seller for a chosen product on Amazon's marketplaces, and generates the vast majority of all sales. The other aspect of the investigation focusses on the possibility for marketplace sellers to effectively reach Prime users. Reaching these consumers is important to sellers because the number of Prime users is continuously growing and because they tend to generate more sales on Amazon's marketplaces than non-Prime users. If proven, the practice under investigation may breach Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) that prohibits the abuse of a dominant market position. The Commission will now carry out its in-depth investigation as a matter of priority"
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    On the filed charges, the violation seems to be fairly clear-cut and straightforward to prove. (DG Competition has really outstanding lawyers.) I suspect the real fight here will be over the remedy.
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Millennials Listen to 75% More Music Than Baby Boomers, Study Finds - 0 views

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    "Data keeps debunking myths about Millennials and their music. Baby Boomers are famously self-important when it comes to the importance of their generation and the music it created. But a new study shows that the 55+ demographic actually listens to substantially less music than their 16-34 cohorts. In fact, Millennials - loosely defined as those born in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s - listen to 75.1% more music on a daily basis, according to data shared this morning with Digital Music News."
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    "Data keeps debunking myths about Millennials and their music. Baby Boomers are famously self-important when it comes to the importance of their generation and the music it created. But a new study shows that the 55+ demographic actually listens to substantially less music than their 16-34 cohorts. In fact, Millennials - loosely defined as those born in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s - listen to 75.1% more music on a daily basis, according to data shared this morning with Digital Music News."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Music piracy 'funding terrorism and crime' - FT.com 2004 - 0 views

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    "Gangs linked to inter-national terrorism and organised crime are relying increasingly on music piracy to fund their operations, according to music industry figures published yesterday. Leading music groups saw the value of pirated sales rise by 4 per cent to $4.5bn (€3.7bn, £2.4bn) last year, and claimed the proceeds were being used for money laundering, drugs trafficking and terrorism."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

The Linux desktop battle (and why it matters) - TechRepublic - 2 views

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    Jack Wallen ponders the problem with the ever-lagging acceptance of the Linux desktop and poses a radical solution.
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    "Jack Wallen ponders the problem with the ever-lagging acceptance of the Linux desktop and poses a radical solution. Linux desktop I have been using Ubuntu Unity for a very long time. In fact, I would say that this is, by far, the longest I've stuck with a single desktop interface. Period. That doesn't mean I don't stop to smell the desktop roses along the Linux path. In fact, I've often considered other desktops as a drop-in replacement for Unity. GNOME and Budgie have vied for my attention of late. Both are solid takes on the desktop that offer a minimalistic, modern look and feel (something I prefer) and help me get my work done with an efficiency other desktops can't match. What I see across the Linux landscape, however, often takes me by surprise. While Microsoft and Apple continue to push the idea of the user interface forward, a good amount of the Linux community seems bent on holding us in a perpetual state of "90s computing." Consider Xfce, Mate, and Cinnamon -- three very popular Linux desktop interfaces that work with one very common thread... not changing for the sake of change. Now, this can be considered a very admirable cause when it's put in place to ensure that user experience (UX) is as positive as possible. What this idea does, however, is deny the idea that change can affect an even more efficient and positive UX. When I spin up a distribution that makes use of Xfce, Mate, or Cinnamon, I find the environments work well and get the job done. At the same time, I feel as if the design of the desktops is trapped in the wrong era. At this point, you're certainly questioning the validity and path of this post. If the desktops work well and help you get the job done, what's wrong? It's all about perception. Let me offer you up a bit of perspective. The only reason Apple managed to rise from the ashes and become one of the single most powerful forces in technology is because they understood the concept of perception. They re-invented th
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    Jack Wallen ponders the problem with the ever-lagging acceptance of the Linux desktop and poses a radical solution.
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

The Tyranny of the Market | Joel Waldfogel | Harvard University Press - 0 views

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    Economists have long counseled reliance on markets rather than on government to decide a wide range of questions, in part because allocation through voting can give rise to a... [# probably, 'government regulation' is much better than leaving broadband's 'shape' subject to the 'Tyranny of The Market'...]
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    Economists have long counseled reliance on markets rather than on government to decide a wide range of questions, in part because allocation through voting can give rise to a
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Windows 10 doesn't matter to desktop Linux | Jim Lynch - 0 views

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    "January 26, 2015 by Jim Lynch 14 Comments Image credit: Straight.com Well folks, it's that time again. Yes, there's another one of those silly "the linux desktop is dead" kind of articles floating around out there. As usual the article is quite wrong, and I'll tell you why in this post."
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    "January 26, 2015 by Jim Lynch 14 Comments Image credit: Straight.com Well folks, it's that time again. Yes, there's another one of those silly "the linux desktop is dead" kind of articles floating around out there. As usual the article is quite wrong, and I'll tell you why in this post."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Superdesk | Open Source Newsroom System | Sourcefabric - 1 views

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    "Make your newsroom more efficient and profitable with Superdesk, a powerful platform for multi-channel content publishing and workflow management."
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    "Make your newsroom more efficient and profitable with Superdesk, a powerful platform for multi-channel content publishing and workflow management."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Senator Uses Piracy Report to Pressure Visa, Mastercard | TorrentFreak - 1 views

    • Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.
       
      # ! we'll have to see...
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    # ! #Politics vs #finances. # ! we'll have to see...
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    # ! #Politics vs #finances. # ! we'll have to see...
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Extra extra! How to use the press to promote open source | Opensource.com - 0 views

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    A recap of Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols talk at All Things Open "This is a report from the All Things Open conference, held this year at the Raleigh Convention Center. I attended Steven Vaughan-Nichols session on marketing and using the press in open source-this is a recap." [# ! The Same Old #Tools... # ! ... for Brand #New #Goals: # ! #Freedom, #transparency, #performance...]
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    A recap of Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols talk at All Things Open "This is a report from the All Things Open conference, held this year at the Raleigh Convention Center. I attended Steven Vaughan-Nichols session on marketing and using the press in open source-this is a recap."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

German Regulator Rejects German Newspapers' Cynical Attempt To Demand Cash From Google ... - 0 views

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    "from the nice-try-but-no dept Back in June we wrote about the ridiculous and cynical attempt by a number of big German newspaper publishers, in the form of the industry group VG Media, to demand 11% of Google's gross worldwide revenue on any search that results in Google showing a snippet of their content. We noted the hypocrisy of these publishers seeking to do this while"
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    "from the nice-try-but-no dept Back in June we wrote about the ridiculous and cynical attempt by a number of big German newspaper publishers, in the form of the industry group VG Media, to demand 11% of Google's gross worldwide revenue on any search that results in Google showing a snippet of their content. We noted the hypocrisy of these publishers seeking to do this while"
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    "from the nice-try-but-no dept Back in June we wrote about the ridiculous and cynical attempt by a number of big German newspaper publishers, in the form of the industry group VG Media, to demand 11% of Google's gross worldwide revenue on any search that results in Google showing a snippet of their content. We noted the hypocrisy of these publishers seeking to do this while"
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

How The Copyright Wars Have Harmed Privacy And A Free Press | Techdirt - 1 views

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    "from the direct-sharing-files-is-hard dept Parker Higgins has a great opinion piece over at Wired, which is ostensibly about the recent release of OnionShare, a tool for sharing large documents directly and securely between two individuals, but which looks deeper into the question of why we're in 2014 and sharing such large files directly without intermediaries is such a challenge. And, as Higgins notes, a big part of that goes right back to... the copyright wars. "
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    "from the direct-sharing-files-is-hard dept Parker Higgins has a great opinion piece over at Wired, which is ostensibly about the recent release of OnionShare, a tool for sharing large documents directly and securely between two individuals, but which looks deeper into the question of why we're in 2014 and sharing such large files directly without intermediaries is such a challenge. And, as Higgins notes, a big part of that goes right back to... the copyright wars. "
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

OpenITP improving tools used to circumvent censorship and surveillance | opensource.com - 0 views

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    "Software tools that bypass censorship and surveillance, also known as circumvention technology, are used in variety of contexts. Chinese citizens get around the Great Firewall to access censored sites and popular international social media platforms. Activists in Iran bypass government surveillance to post photos and video of anti-government demonstrations. Journalists in Mexico circumvent cartel surveillance to report on local drug-related violence."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

European Press Prize: The Awards for Excellence in Journalism. - 0 views

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    "Every year, the European Press Prize salutes and encourages the highest achievements in European journalism. We believe the elevation of journalism is a constant, urgent imperative. The second year of the European Press Prize starts in september! From september 9 until the 29th of november 2013 we welcome entries from all over Europe in four different categories for the European Press Prizes of 2013. "
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Attacks on the Press: CPJ Risk List - Committee to Protect Journalists - 0 views

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    "By Karen Phillips Ecuadoran law forbids the presidential family to benefit from state contracts. But after Christian Zurita and Juan Carlos Calderón's book, Big Brother, revealed that President Rafael Correa's brother had obtained $600 million in government contracts, they were the ones in trouble with the law. Zurita and Calderón were found guilty of defaming the president and ordered to pay $1 million in damages apiece. Correa later pardoned the two, having accomplished his goal of intimidating the nation's press corps. "It was clear that no small or medium-sized media outlet was going to take on major critical reporting against the government," Zurita told CPJ."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

BBC News - Who is the most pirated artist near you? - 0 views

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    [... + Top 20 sharing countries The United States tops the bill as the country with the most illegal shares, with the UK in second position. Here we show the top 20 downloading countries, the total number of torrent downloads over the past six months and the most popular shared artist in each country. ...]
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