From 21 December, insurers will have to charge the same prices to women and men for the same insurance products

The new EU rules which include that insurers in Europe will have to charge the same prices to women and men for the same insurance products without distinction on the grounds of sex, will enter into force from 21 of December.

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New guidelines for the application of EU state aid rules to the broadband sector

The European Commission adopted new Broadband Guidelines that intends to help Member States achieve the objectives of the EU Digital Agenda. The new guidelines focus in technological neutrality, ultra-fast broadband networks, step change to connectivity, reinforcement of open access, and transparency.

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Adopted regulatory and implementing technical standards under the Regulation on OTC derivatives

The European Commission adopted nine regulatory and implementing technical standards to complement the obligations defined under the Regulation on OTC derivatives, central counterparties (CCPs) and trade repositories (the so-called European Markets Infrastructure Regulation – EMIR). The technical standards will enter into force on the twentieth day following publication in the EU's Official Journal.

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The Commission proposed new stricter rules on how tobacco products can be manufactured, presented, and sold

The proposal to revise the Tobacco Products Directive presented by the European Commission bans the use of cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco (RYO) and smokeless tobacco products with characterising flavours and makes the use of large pictorial health warnings mandatory on cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco (RYO).

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Commission wants to ensure that the EU's copyright framework stays fit for purpose in the digital environment

The Communication adopted by the European Commission urges industry to deliver innovative solutions for greater access to online content. In parallel, the Commission is undertaking the review of the EU framework for copyright legal to be completed in 2014.

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From 1st January 2013, new EU VAT rules enter into effect

The European Commission underlined that new EU VAT rules enter into force from 1st January 2013. These rules are aimed at making life much simpler for businesses across Europe. Also, from 1st January 2013 enter into force stronger rules to fight tax evasion.

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Banking, telecom and energy services scored particularly low in the 2012 EU Consumer Scoreboard

The European Commission published the results of the Commission’s 2012 Consumer Markets Scoreboard which warn that EU consumers have once again expressed their dissatisfaction with the performance of some key services markets, such as banking, telecom and energy services.

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Over 75% of websites that sell games, books, videos or music on-line do not appear to comply with consumer protection rules

The European Commission presented the results of an EU wide screening of websites selling games, books, videos and music which can be downloaded to a computer or mobile device. The check shows that over 75% of these websites do not appear to comply with consumer protection rules. National enforcement authorities will now contact the companies concerned to enable them to clarify their position or correct their website.

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€1.47 billion in fines to producers of TV and computer monitor tubes involved in cartels

The European Commission announced that it has fined seven international groups of companies a total of €1.47 billion for participating in either one or both of two distinct cartels in the sector of cathode ray tubes ("CRT"). According to the Commission, for almost ten years, between 1996 and 2006, these companies fixed prices, shared markets, allocated customers between themselves and restricted their output.

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The Commission consults on the delivery system to boost e-commerce in the EU

According to the European Commission, an efficient delivery and return system is key to facilitating further growth in e-commerce and therefore consumer choice and convenience. It has therefore launched a public consultation to gather opinions to boost the transnational delivery system on the e-commerce in the EU.

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Over 75% of websites checked in the EU give satisfactory information to clients

Following the outcome of a co-ordinated "Sweep" investigation in which national enforcement authorities checked 565 websites across the 27 Member States, Norway and Iceland, the European Commission now published that up to date figures show that over 75% of websites checked now give satisfactory information to clients, while in September 2011, 70% of these sites (393) were flagged for further investigation.

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