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Verizon launches AI-driven apps to improve customer service by streamlining interactions. The European Commission designates Booking.com as a ‘gatekeeper’ and plans antitrust charges against Microsoft for bundling Teams with Office. Telstra establishes a regional network hub in Guam at GNC iX data center. GlobalData underscores US telcos’ struggle to stand out in the B2B channel.

The European Commission has imposed a hefty fine on Apple, surpassing €1.8 billion, for its anti-competitive practices concerning music streaming services via its App Store. This penalty stems from an investigation initiated by a complaint from Spotify, the music streaming behemoth, nearly five years ago. Accusing Spotify of greed, Apple has announced its intention to contest the fine.

In response to the rapid growth of the metaverse and generative AI sectors, the European Commission (EC) is conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the competitive landscape. Margrethe Vestager, the Executive Vice President of competition policy, has issued Requests for Information (RFI) for both markets, urging stakeholders to share insights on competition levels and propose ideas on how antitrust regulations can sustain competitiveness.

In a strategic move to fortify the European Union’s standing in the global cloud computing sector, the European Commission has greenlit a substantial €1.2 billion state funding injection. The funding is earmarked for the Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) Next Generation Cloud Infrastructure and Services (IPCEI CIS), a collaborative initiative involving seven member countries: France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Spain.

In the ongoing debate over Big Tech’s ‘fair share’ contribution to telecom infrastructures, new findings from the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications call into question the validity of the argument. BIPT concludes attributing Big Tech solely for data streams might be over simplistic, citing investments made by Content Application Providers in broader infrastructures. The study raises important concerns about the potential negative impact for end-users, small local CAPs, and the principle of net neutrality.

Thierry Breton, Internal Market commissioner of the European Commission, is advocating for a unified European telecoms market, anticipating advancements in growth, innovation, and swift adaptability to emerging technologies. Arguing against the current market fragmentation, he believes regulatory easing on issues like spectrum acquisition could invite investors to support future networks. Simultaneously, telecom operators suggest cross-border consolidation as a potential path when local financial conditions improve.

EU Contemplates 5G Vendor Ban Amid Huawei Funding Debate The European Union is debating whether to ban certain companies from their 5G networks due to security concerns. Huawei, the company most affected by the potential ban, is receiving funding of around €3.89 million from the EU for research in areas like 6G, AI, and cloud computing under the Horizon Europe research program. Horizon Europe is the EU’s main research and innovation initiative, with a proposed budget of €12.8 billion in 2024. The EU is worried about member countries, especially Germany, being slow to restrict the use of “high-risk” vendors. Analysts suggest that stricter measures from Germany would greatly impact Huawei’s presence in Europe. Read the full article European Commission Targets Google’s Adtech Dominance with Statement of Objections The European Commission has raised concerns about Google’s control of the digital advertising ecosystem and issued a Statement of Objections against the tech…