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The U.S. legislation includes a tax credit for electric vehicles that meet requirements that include final assembly in North America. BRUSSELS—Simmering frustration over the “Buy American” provisions attached to a sweeping package of climate-related subsidies threatens to spoil the mood at a high-level U.S.-European Union meeting Monday. EU leaders say the subsidies, which were included in the Inflation Reduction Act legislation that President Biden signed into law in August, are discriminatory and risk accelerating damage to European industries already struggling with high energy costs. South Korea, Japan and the U.K. have also criticized the decision to attach local-content requirements to the subsidies.
BRUSSELS—A top European official warned Elon Musk that Twitter Inc. would need to make significant changes to comply with a new European Union law governing social-media platforms and content moderation. Thierry Breton, the EU’s commissioner for the internal market, held a video call with Mr. Musk on Wednesday to discuss the new legislation, called the Digital Services Act. He said Mr. Musk—who completed his purchase of Twitter in October—stated he planned to get the service ready for the new rules, but Mr. Breton added that more work would be needed.
Elon Musk has made several changes to Twitter, including broad layoffs, sparking questions about its ability to comply with a new EU law. BRUSSELS—A top European official warned Elon Musk that Twitter Inc. would need to make significant changes to comply with a new European Union law governing social-media platforms and content moderation. Thierry Breton , the EU’s commissioner for the internal market, held a video call with Mr. Musk on Wednesday to discuss the new legislation, called the Digital Services Act. He said Mr. Musk—who completed his purchase of Twitter in October—stated he planned to get the service ready for the new rules, but Mr. Breton added that more work would be needed.
The Italian navy mine hunter ITS Numana was sailing recently above a pipeline carrying natural gas from North Africa to Europe when its sonar detected a metal object close to the line. “There was an obvious risk,” said Lt. Gianluigi Barberisi , the vessel’s commander. So the ship lowered a robot 650 feet below to take a closer look. It was a rusty table.
The Italian navy mine hunter ITS Numana was sailing recently above a pipeline carrying natural gas from North Africa to Europe when its sonar detected a metal object close to the line. “There was an obvious risk,” said Lt. Gianluigi Barberisi , the vessel’s commander. So the ship lowered a robot 650 feet below to take a closer look. It was a rusty table.
The European headquarters of Twitter in Dublin, one of the company’s hubs from where staff have left since Elon Musk took over. Elon Musk‘s move to purge Twitter Inc. employees who don’t embrace his vision has led to a wave of departures among policy and safety-issue staffers around the globe, sparking questions from regulators in key jurisdictions about the site’s continued compliance efforts. Scrutiny has been particularly close in Europe, where officials have in recent years assumed a greater role in regulating big tech companies. Staff departures in recent days include dozens of people spread across units such as government policy, legal affairs and Twitter’s “trust and safety” division, responsible for functions like drafting content-moderation rules, according to current and former employees, postings on social media and emails sent to work addresses of people who had worked at Twitter that recently bounced back. They have left from hubs including Dublin, Singapore and San Francisco.
Pipes at facilities of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in Lubmin, northern Germany. European Union countries earlier this year agreed to voluntary plans to reduce their gas consumption. BRUSSELS—European Union energy ministers are gathering to haggle Thursday over details of a new proposal from the bloc’s executive body for an emergency cap on the price of natural gas. The meeting convenes as EU diplomats struggle to agree on a separate, international plan to cap prices paid for Russian oil around the world.
Pipes at facilities of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in Lubmin, northern Germany. European Union countries earlier this year agreed to voluntary plans to reduce their gas consumption. BRUSSELS—European Union energy ministers failed to reach an agreement Thursday on a plan to put an emergency cap on the price of natural gas, saying they would resume their debate next month. EU diplomats are also struggling to agree on a separate, international plan to cap prices paid for Russian oil around the world.
EU Unveils Proposal to Cap Natural-Gas Prices
  + stars: | 2022-11-22 | by ( Kim Mackrael | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
BRUSSELS—The European Union on Tuesday set out the details of a long-debated proposal to cap natural-gas prices on the bloc’s main trading hub, part of an effort to shield consumers from the effects of higher energy costs linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, said its proposal was designed to deal with exceptional circumstances where the benchmark price for natural gas in Europe exceeds 275 euros, equivalent to about $282, per megawatt hour for two weeks. Prices would also need to be above reference levels by a set margin for 10 consecutive days within those two weeks.
Swedish authorities investigating a series of blasts that damaged undersea natural-gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea said they had found traces of explosives on several foreign objects nearby, a potential break in an international probe into who was responsible for what authorities have called sabotage. Sweden, Denmark and Germany are investigating the blasts in September that sent gas bubbling to the surface for days and caused severe damage to the the Nord Stream pipelines. Investigators have previously said they believe the blasts were an intentional act.
Microsoft Faces Fresh Antitrust Complaint in Europe
  + stars: | 2022-11-09 | by ( Kim Mackrael | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Microsoft said it introduced licensing changes this fall that give customers and cloud providers more options for running and offering its software. BRUSSELS— Microsoft Corp. faces an antitrust complaint from a European industry group over its cloud services, adding to recent allegations of anticompetitive behavior against the U.S. tech company. Cloud Infrastructure Service Providers in Europe, or Cispe, a trade group which includes Amazon.com Inc. among its members, said it filed the complaint with the bloc’s competition regulator, the European Commission, on Tuesday. The complaint alleges that Microsoft uses its dominance in productivity software to direct customers in Europe to its Azure cloud service and makes it difficult for them to switch to other cloud service providers, the trade group said.
The European Commission ruled in 2015 that Fiat Chrysler, now part of Stellantis, had benefited from an illegal tax deal. BRUSSELS—The European Union’s top court overturned a tax ruling against Fiat Chrysler from 2015, handing the bloc’s regulators a fresh setback in a crack down on multinational companies’ efforts to financially shield their operations. The setback follows similar reversals in tax cases involving Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Starbucks Corp.
The European Union’s competition watchdog said it would pursue an in-depth investigation into Microsoft Corp.’s planned $75 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard Inc., adding to the global scrutiny of whether the deal could harm competition in the videogame industry. The European Commission, which opened its initial, formal probe of the deal in late September, said it is concerned that the deal may reduce competition in the markets for console and personal computer distribution, videogames and PC operating systems. It said it was concerned that Microsoft may block access to Activision Blizzard games to other game distributors, especially the publisher’s most successful franchises such as Call of Duty.
Europe Seeks Exemption From U.S. Rules on EV Tax Breaks
  + stars: | 2022-11-03 | by ( Kim Mackrael | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
The task force is being led by the cabinet of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the U.S. National Security Council. BRUSSELS—U. S. and European Union environmental policies are on a collision course, prompting an urgent meeting to defuse rising tensions over clean-technology subsidies that threaten to upset a trade relationship that leaders had pledged to rebuild. A new task force focused on clean-energy tax credits that were included in the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act will hold its first in a series of weekly meetings on Friday, an EU official said. The task force, which is being led by the U.S. National Security Council and the cabinet of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen , is meant to address EU concerns that many European-made products won’t qualify for the credits because of where they were made.
A top European Union official fired off a fresh warning to Elon Musk about complying with the bloc’s new rules on social-media moderation after the billionaire completed his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter Inc.Mr. Musk has said that he views Twitter as an important platform for free speech. After closing the deal and firing some of Twitter’s top executives on Thursday, Mr. Musk tweeted that “the bird is freed” a reference to the company, whose logo is a blue bird.
While car makers are increasingly moving toward electric vehicles, some representatives said they believe the EU’s plan is too quick. BRUSSELS—European Union lawmakers reached a political agreement on Thursday for emissions rules that will effectively ban the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines beginning in 2035. The planned law is set to require new cars and vans to have significantly lower carbon emissions by 2030 and to reach zero emissions by 2035, adding to pressure on auto makers and suppliers to accelerate the shift away from cars that run on gasoline and toward electric vehicles.
BRUSSELS—European Union energy ministers will debate details of a possible emergency limit on natural-gas prices and other proposals meant to tackle the painfully high energy bills resulting from Russia’s economic war with the West. Energy ministers gathered in Luxembourg on Tuesday for a meeting where they are talking about proposals related to the EU’s climate plans. Europe is facing an energy crunch after Russia—once its biggest natural gas supplier—invaded Ukraine earlier this year and sharply constrained supplies of gas to the bloc.
EU Puts Forth Emergency Cap on Gas Prices
  + stars: | 2022-10-18 | by ( Kim Mackrael | Joe Wallace | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
BRUSSELS—European Union officials are seeking the power to impose an emergency cap on the price of natural gas on the bloc’s main trading exchange, part of a package of proposals to cushion consumers from high prices and fill storage tanks next year ahead of winter. The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, on Tuesday published proposals that include steps to encourage companies to pool their demand and buy gas together and rules for how gas could be shared across borders if some countries run short. Other measures seek to limit volatility on energy markets and boost the financial support that can flow to struggling consumers.
EU Seeks Power to Set Emergency Cap on Gas Prices
  + stars: | 2022-10-18 | by ( Kim Mackrael | Joe Wallace | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
BRUSSELS—European Union officials are seeking the power to impose an emergency cap on the price of natural gas on the bloc’s main trading exchange, part of a package of proposals to cushion consumers from high prices and fill storage tanks next year ahead of winter. The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, on Tuesday published proposals that include steps to encourage companies to pool their demand and buy gas together and rules for how gas could be shared across borders if some countries run short. Other measures seek to limit volatility on energy markets and boost the financial support that can flow to struggling consumers.
EU Readies New Proposals to Drive Down Energy Costs
  + stars: | 2022-10-12 | by ( Kim Mackrael | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
BRUSSELS—The European Union’s executive arm said it would propose new measures to intervene in the bloc’s energy market next week in an effort to provide relief for consumers and businesses squeezed by high electricity and natural-gas prices. EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said Wednesday that the proposals would be aimed at lowering prices and ensuring that Europe has enough gas to keep its factories running and its homes heated through the winter. The potential moves are a response to Russia’s decision to wield its gas supply as a weapon of economic war, cutting the flow to gas to the continent and pushing many of its manufacturers to the brink.
BERLIN—Germany is preparing to introduce a national electricity price cap this fall if the European Union fails to agree on a similar move for the entire bloc, according to government officials. The cap would shield consumers and businesses from further increases in energy prices triggered by the economic war between Russia and the West over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
BERLIN—Germany is drawing up plans to cap the price of electricity and gas that could be rolled out in the coming weeks, according to government officials. The caps would be aimed at shielding consumers and businesses from further increases in energy prices triggered by the economic war between Russia and the West over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
EU Seeks New Powers Over Supply Chains During Emergencies
  + stars: | 2022-09-19 | by ( Kim Mackrael | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
BRUSSELS—The European Union staked its claim to sweeping new powers to regulate industries during crises, presenting a controversial proposal that has already drawn opposition from business leaders but which EU officials say is vital to tackle disruptions such as those during the Covid-19 pandemic. The European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, on Monday unveiled what it calls the Single Market Emergency Instrument, which aims to address the kinds of disruptions that took place during the pandemic, when some countries, including the U.S., sought to block exports of vaccines and other health-related products. Other free-market economies have already enacted such measures. The new proposal will need approval from the EU’s 27 member states and the European Parliament to become law.
Commodities & Futures
  + stars: | 2022-08-26 | by ( Andrew Duehren | Vibhuti Agarwal | Stuart Condie | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
CommoditiesIndia banned exports of broken rice and levied a tax on other key varieties in a move that would add to global inflationary pressure and exacerbate food supply pains caused by the war in Ukraine.
Rocked by its biggest energy shock since the 1970s, Europe is unpicking parts of a two-decade endeavor to foster a competitive market in natural gas. In coming weeks, the European Union will ask member states for the ability to cap gas prices in extreme market conditions. It wants energy companies to club together to gain price-negotiating clout against overseas exporters. And it is planning a new reference for gas prices in the region.
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