By Rory Carroll SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Electric vehicle charging companies are calling for independent oversight of the $2 billion Volkswagen AG is required to invest in clean car infrastructure, saying VW should not have the power to shape the nascent electric car charging space. The German automaker agreed to invest the money, which includes $1.2 billion nationally and $800 million in California, as part of its penalties for equipping hundreds of thousands of its diesel vehicles sold in the United States with software designed to cheat tailpipe emissions tests. While charging station companies called the money a potential “game changer,” they worry that if it is misspent, it could hurt competition.
By Himank Sharma MUMBAI (Reuters) – India has rejected a plan by Apple Inc to import used iPhones, government officials said on Wednesday, a blow to the U.S. tech giant that has been seeking to revive waning sales of its flagship smartphones. Apple sells what it calls refurbished iPhones at a discount in some countries, including the United States. Extending this practice to India would have likely helped it increase its share in one of the world's fastest growing smartphone markets against competitors with much cheaper offerings.
By Julia Fioretti BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The United States has set out limits to its use of data collected in bulk about European citizens after a new information-sharing pact was agreed this month, according to documents seen by Reuters. A clear explanation of what information could be used for — preventing its “indiscriminate” and “arbitrary” use — was a key condition of the new Privacy Shield framework that enables firms to easily transfer personal data to the United States. Under the deal, Washington agreed to create a specific new role within the State Department to deal with complaints and enquiries forwarded by EU data protection agencies.
(Reuters) – Apple Inc said it will soon start charging for iTunes Radio, its music-streaming service that competes with Pandora Media Inc. ITunes Radio, which was announced in 2013, will no longer be free from the end of January, Apple said in statement. The ad-supported service, available only in the United States and Australia, will be folded into Apple Music, which costs $9.99 a month. Beats 1, the global 24/7 radio station, will now be the free music option for listeners.
The announcement by FCA US LLC, formerly Chrysler Group LLC, comes more than a month after the company recalled about 1.4 million vehicles in the United States for the software update. FCA said on Friday that it was unaware of any injuries related to software exploitation. The recalled vehicles include 2015 Jeep Renegade SUVs equipped with 6.5-inch touchscreens.
The White House is considering applying sanctions against companies and individuals in China it believes have benefited from Chinese hacking of U.S. trade secrets, the Washington Post reported on Sunday. The newspaper, citing several unidentified Obama administration officials, said a final determination on whether to issue the sanctions was expected soon, possibly as early as the next two weeks. Suspicions that Chinese hackers were behind a series of data breaches in the United States have been an irritant in relations between the world's two largest economies as President Xi Jinping prepares to make his first visit to the United States next month.
(Reuters) – A BT Group Plc executive has called for the United States to require its telecommunications companies to allow access to their networks at regulated prices, similar to rules in place in the United Kingdom, the Financial Times reported on Sunday. Bas Burger, president of the British company's Americas unit, told the newspaper that a lack of regulation has hampered competition in the United States, where AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc control about 80 percent of the telephone and broadband lines used by homes and businesses. Burger said BT Group must charge customers more because it has to pay large fees to the U.S. rivals to carry data over these wires.
The United Nations said it expects member states to respect its right to privacy and is assessing how to respond to a report that telecommunications company AT&T Inc helped the U.S. National Security Agency spy on the world body's communications. The company gave technical assistance to the NSA in carrying out a secret court order allowing wiretapping of all Internet communications at the headquarters of the United Nations, an AT&T customer, the New York Times reported on Saturday. The New York Times cited newly disclosed NSA documents that date from 2003 to 2013 and were provided by fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
By Julia Fioretti BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union and the United States are close to completing negotiations on a deal protecting personal data shared for law enforcement purposes such as terrorism investigations, three people familiar with the matter said. The two sides have been negotiating since 2011 over the so-called “umbrella agreement” that would protect personal data exchanged between police and judicial authorities in the course of investigations, as well as between companies and law enforcement authorities. The protection of personal data in the United States has been a sore point in the EU since former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed mass U.S. surveillance programs involving EU citizens.
By Bill Rigby SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Apple's large-screen iPhones are a big hit in China, taking market share from Samsung and selling at a pace that may make China a greater source of revenue than the Americas for Apple in coming years, analysts said. The world's most valuable consumer electronics company reported on Monday a 71 percent increase in sales in China to $16.8 billion, driven by its new, bigger iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. In the first three months of the year, for the first time, Apple sold more iPhones in China than in the United States. Consumer demand for the newest electronics pushed sales in China to 29 percent of total global sales for Apple in the first quarter, compared with 21 percent a year ago.