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The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has handed down its decision in C-131/12 Google Spain SL, Google Inc. v Agencia Española de Protección de Datos, Mario Costeja González (13 May 2014), finding that an online search engine operator may under certain conditions and on the request of a user be obliged to remove its link to a third party's webpage that is returned by search queries featuring the user's name.

South Korea-based major web portal operator Naver is expected to be suspended from foreign exchange (FX) business for three months for allegedly failing to properly submit reports on its FX transactions. Reportedly, the Financial Supervisory Service will finalise the suspension at its next regular meeting and alleges that Naver has wrongfully traded an estimated total of KRW280 billion (approximately €200 million/US$274 million).

Published in Financial Integrity

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has announced that the Declaration on Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters (undated) has been signed by all 34 OECD member countries as well as a further 13 countries and was adopted on 6 May 2014.

Published in Financial Integrity

United States (US)-based bank JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPMorgan) has imposed measures affecting 3,500 accounts in an effort to manage compliance costs. Reportedly, JPMorgan has closed the accounts and stopped the credit cards of all current and former non-US senior government officials on the basis that they are politically exposed persons, whose transactions require added scrutiny under anti-money laundering (AML) regulations.

Published in Anti-Money Laundering

A United States (US) District Court jury has reaffirmed its verdict in an intellectual property case brought by smartphone maker Apple against competitor Samsung Electronics (Samsung), including almost US$120 million awarded to Apple in damages. Reportedly, the jury had been ordered to review its verdict reached on 2 May 2014 that Samsung infringed three of five Apple patents, after Apple's lawyers argued that the jury had made a technical error in relation to one patent.

Google has announced (30 April 2014) that it has permanently removed advertising from its Apps for Education suite of products for educational institutions; and permanently ceased its scanning of Apps for Education users' email content for the purposes of targeted advertising.

The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that online commerce platform provider eBay has agreed to settle allegations that "senior executives and directors of eBay and [software firm] Intuit entered into an [anticompetitive] agreement ... that prevented each firm from recruiting employees from the other and that prohibited eBay from hiring Intuit employees that approached eBay".

Published in Competition

Beverage companies Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have announced their plans to phase out the use of brominated vegetable oil (BVO) in all their products that are sold in the United States (US). According to AP, the announcements follow an online campaign spearheaded by US resident Sarah Kavanagh who was concerned that BVO has been patented as a flame retardant and is banned from being added to foods in the European Union and in Japan.

Published in Consumer Protection

The United States (US) Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has announced that it has fined financial services provider Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (Morgan Stanley Wealth Management) US$5 million for supervisory failures related to the solicitation of retail customers to invest in initial public offerings (IPOs), including the high profile IPOs of Facebook and Yelp.

Published in Consumer Protection

The European Commission (EC) has made available frequently asked questions (29 April 2014) regarding its recent decisions on patents that are critical to the smartphone and tablet technology market.

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