Apple on EU ‘hit list’ of big tech companies that will face stricter rules

0 Comments

The European Union plans to impose new and stricter regulations on a “hit list” of 20 large internet companies — including Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple.

EU regulators, who are seeking new powers to police Big Tech in Europe, are currently drawing up that “hit list.” The companies will be subject to more stringent rules in an effort to curb their market power.

The list of rules will be based on criteria such as the number of users a company has, or the market share of revenues, according to The Financial Times. It could also include technology companies deemed so powerful that rivals can’t trade without using their platforms.

Companies that find themselves on the list may face new rules that could force them to be more transparent about the information they gather and regulations requiring them to share data with their competitors. It’s likely that the list will skew toward companies in the U.S., which could cause tensions between Brussels and Washington.

Although EU regulators are still mulling the exact number of companies and precise criteria, the move to acquire new policing powers is part of a broader effort by Brussels to curb a company’s market power without a full investigation, or without finding them guilty of breaking existing antitrust laws.

The other potential powers that the EU is exploring will go beyond fines, and could allow regulators to “move quickly to force the likes of Amazon and Apple to ensure they give access to competitors and that they share data with rivals.”

In some circumstances, the EU could seek to break up big technology companies or force them to sell units if they are found to be exhibiting anticompetitive behavior.

The EU is also drafting new rules for an overhaul of internet regulations in Europe. Proposals for

Airbnb faces calls for stricter enforcement of rental rules in Ireland

0 Comments

View of Ha’penny bridge on bright sunny day in Dublin, Ireland.

Stricter enforcement on Airbnb and short-term lettings in the Republic of Ireland are needed to protect the housing and rental market. 

That’s according to housing activists and opposition politicians that believe regulations introduced last year need to be bolstered ahead of the difficult months and years ahead for the economy.

Last July, regulations around short-term rentals came into effect with a “one host, one home” model that is enforced by local planning authorities.

Eoin O’Broin, a member of parliament and housing spokesperson for Sinn Féin, the main opposition party, told CNBC that the regulations are sound but fall down when it comes to enforcement as the planning system is a “very slow and laborious process.”

For Airbnb hosts renting out a room in the home that they themselves live in, there was little change.

However, for people renting out second homes, holiday homes and other properties that aren’t their primary residence, they are required to obtain a “change of use” planning approval from their local authority. The regulations were introduced to encourage more properties back onto the long-term market. Rising rent costs in cities like Dublin have been a difficult policy issue as the average rent in the capital has risen to 1,709 euros ($2,010), compared to 1,252 euros in the same quarter five years ago.

However there has been a low number of short-term let planning applications filed with authorities despite the number of listings remaining high, as hosts avoid the lengthy application process.

“We always knew the regulations, even if they were good, would fall foul of weak enforcement if it was left to the local authorities. That’s not a criticism of the councils, it’s just the nature of planning enforcement,” O’Broin said.

Ireland’s Department of Housing,

Can Colorado’s Oil & Gas Industry Survive the Stricter Rules?

0 Comments

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (“COGCC”) on Monday gave preliminary approval to a statewide initiative that would require new oil and gas wells to be drilled at least 2,000 feet from most buildings, quadrupling from the current requirement of 500 feet. The panel is expected to undertake a final vote in early November, with the new rules set to take effect next year.

The new setback distance falls under the Senate Bill 19-181 (SB-181) – a breakthrough legislation passed in 2019 that changed the way oil and gas drilling permits are issued in Colorado.    

The push for the industry’s overhaul gathered momentum after a deadly house explosion and fire in Firestone killed two people and badly injured another in April 2017. The fatal event was traced to the seepage of an odorless gas from a line owned by Anadarko Petroleum, which has since been acquired by Occidental Petroleum OXY.

The Senate Bill 181 in a Nutshell

The hotly debated and controversial measure is within SB-181 passed last year and referred to as ‘the most sweeping oil and gas reforms’ the state has seen. It was a comprehensive overhaul of Colorado’s oil and gas development regulations by expanding the authority of local government/communities over drilling sites. The bill also strived to address concerns about climate change, pollution and threat to wildlife from drilling operations, while protecting the interests of unwilling mineral rights owners. Finally, the law aimed to rewrite the mission of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission – the state agency overseeing the energy industry – from economic gain to public safety and environmental protection.     

Let’s debate the pros and cons of the new setback rule.

Pro: Backers Hail the Health and Safety Provisions

Proponents of the measure and environmental groups in particular argue that the new