FRANCE AND NETHERLANDS PUSH ON TECH REGULATION

France and the Netherlands on Thursday called for a European Union authority to regulate large tech companies such as Google and Facebook, whose dominance gives them effective internet gatekeeper status. The move increases pressure on Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who is preparing a new Digital Services Act, to set tough rules for data-sharing and ensure that marketplaces are fair and open. The Franco-Dutch proposal, which calls for pre-emptive action to prevent power grabs by Big Tech, overshadowed a gathering of EU ministers that discussed artificial intelligence and cloud computing. SOURCE: Reuters

LUXAVIATION MAKES EASA MOVE

Luxaviation has placed its Portuguese operation under the direct safety oversight of EASA in a move that the aircraft management and charter group says is a first step toward obtaining EASA regulatory supervision for all of its European divisions. Establishing a single European air operator certificate (AOC) is expected to result in significant reductions in operating costs for operators, who will no longer need to duplicate compliance requirements in multiple EASA member states. With operations worldwide, Luxaviation Group manages 235 fixed-wing aircraft and 35 helicopters under 15 separate AOCs (nine of which are in EASA member states). Under the European Union’s 2018/1139 regulation, introduced in 2018, operators have had the option to report to a single competent authority—any one of the 31 EASA member states—for safety oversight and certification. SOURCE: www.ainonline.com

AT&T SELLS CZECH FIRM

AT&T is continuing to sell non-core assets, this time receiving $1.1 billion in cash for its stake in Central European Media Enterprises (CME). AT&T was the largest shareholder in CME, which was acquired by Czech investment firm PPF Group N.V. As part of the deal, the companies said AT&T no longer backstops approximately $575 million in debt for CME, which AT&T acquired as part of its 2018 Time Warner deal. SOURCE: fiercevideo.com

AUSTRIA A HOTBED FOR START-UPS

According to Austrian Startup Monitor, entrepreneurs have founded more than 2,200 startups in Austria since 2008, with the number of tech companies growing 12% per year since then, significantly faster than the 3% growth rate for traditional companies. Home to roughly 50% of Austria’s startups, Vienna has a plethora of VC, corporate and university investors. Top VCs include 3TS Capital Partners, AC & Friends, Cudos Capital, FSP Ventures, Hansmen Group, i4g Investment, i5invest, LilO Ventures, next.march, primeCROWD, Speedinvest, and Venionaire Capital, among others. SOURCE: techcrunch.com

ILLUSTRATION: Luxaviation