No Libra-style digital currencies without rules, say EU finance ministers

European Union finance ministers have agreed to a de facto ban on the launch in the region of so-called global “stablecoins” such as Facebook’s planned Libra digital currency until the bloc has a common approach to regulation that can mitigate the risks posed by the technology. In a joint statement, the European Council and Commission […]

Atomico partner Tom Wehmeier reviews ‘The State of European Tech’ 2019 report

Atomico, the European venture capital firm founded by Skype’s Niklas Zennström, has released its latest annual The State of European Tech report, published in partnership with Slush and Orrick. As part of the report, the authors surveyed 5,000 members of the ecosystem — including 1,000 founders — as well as pulling in robust data from […]

European parliament’s NationBuilder contract under investigation by data regulator

Europe’s lead data regulator has issued its first ever sanction of an EU institution — taking enforcement action against the European parliament over its use of US-based digital campaign company, NationBuilder, to process citizens’ voter data ahead of the spring elections. NationBuilder is a veteran of the digital campaign space — indeed, we first covered […]

Twitter to add a way to ‘memorialize’ accounts for deceased users before removing inactive ones

Twitter has changed its tune regarding inactive accounts after receiving a lot of user feedback: It will now be developing a way to “memorialize” user accounts for those who have passed away, before proceeding with a plan it confirmed this week to deactivate accounts that are inactive in order to “present more accurate, credible information” […]

Fertility startup Mojo wants to take the trial and error out of IVF

Fertility tech startup Mojo is coming out of stealth to announce a €1.7 million (~$1.8M) seed round of funding led by Nordic seed fund Inventure. Also participating are Doberman and Privilege Ventures (an investor in Ava), plus a number of angel investors including Josefin Landgard (founder and ex-CEO of Kry) and Hampus Jakobsson (venture partner […]

Dutch court orders Facebook to ban celebrity crypto scam ads after another lawsuit

A Dutch court has ruled that Facebook can be required to use filter technologies to identify and pre-emptively take down fake ads linked to crypto currency scams that carry the image of a media personality, John de Mol, and other well known celebrities. The Dutch celerity filed a lawsuit against Facebook in April over the […]

How Europe overtook the US in championing free markets

The deregulation of major U.S. industries like telecom and energy in the 1970s and 80s sparked competition that lowered consumer prices and drove product innovation between competitors. Europe, on the other hand, lagged behind with more expensive internet, phone plans, airline tickets, and more until around 2000 when a major reversal of this trend began. […]

An interview with economist Thomas Philippon, author of ‘The Great Reversal’

Economist Thomas Philippon’s new book, “The Great Reversal: How America Gave Up on Free Markets,” went on sale this past week, highlighting the United States’ failure to block the country’s largest companies from inhibiting fair competition. Alongside my review of the book, I spoke with Philippon to dig deeper into why entrepreneurs and venture investors […]

Facebook agrees to pay UK data watchdog’s Cambridge Analytica fine but settles without admitting liability

Facebook has reached a settlement with the U.K.’s data protection watchdog, the ICO, agreeing to pay in full a £500,000 (~$643K) fine following the latter’s investigating into the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal. As part of the arrangement, Facebook has agreed to drop its legal appeal against the penalty. But under the terms of the […]

Tech giants still not doing enough to fight fakes, says European Commission

It’s a year since the European Commission got a bunch of adtech giants together to spill ink on a voluntary Code of Practice to do something — albeit, nothing very quantifiable — as a first step to stop the spread of disinformation online. Its latest report card on this voluntary effort sums to the platforms […]