european union

Market Minute: EU Slaps Microsoft with $733 Million Fine

European regulators have fined Microsoft $733 million for failing to give users of its Windows system a choice of Internet browsers. The company had settled an antitrust dispute four years ago by saying it would offer alternatives to its Internet Explorer, but failed to do so for more than a year.

U.S. Stock Prices Dip Ahead of Earnings Season Kickoff

U.S. stocks fell Tuesday as traders awaited the start of the corporate earnings season. Market-watchers expect the quarter's results could include many surprises because of events like Superstorm Sandy, the presidential election, and the narrowly avoided "fiscal cliff."

Taxing the Rich: Americans Have It Good, Compared to the French

Many of America's rich are complaining that top tax rates are rising in 2013. But, really, they should be glad the new rates will be so low. France is boosting its top tax rate from 48 percent to as high as 75 percent -- and driving some businesspeople and celebrities to bid their home country adieu.

Europe Teeters on the Edge of Recession

Europe is edging closer to recession, dragged down by the crippling debt problems of the 17-country eurozone, official figures showed Tuesday: The economies of both the eurozone and the full EU shrank by 0.2% in the second quarter, after a flat first quarter.

Cheaper Oil Pushes U.S. Trade Deficit to 18 Month Low

The U.S. trade deficit fell to its lowest level in 18 months in June, pushed down by a steep drop in oil imports and a small rise in exports. The trade gap narrowed to $42.9 billion in June, down from $48 billion in May, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

Eurozone Unemployment Hits New Record High

Unemployment in the 17-country euro currency bloc hit another record high in May -- 11.1% -- as the crippling financial crisis pushed the continent toward the brink of recession, official figures showed Monday.

European Court Upholds Most of $1 Billion-Plus Microsoft Fine

A European court has upheld most of a massive fine levied against Microsoft by the European Commission's competition watchdog, closing a case against the software giant that began in 1998. The court's final ruling trimmed the fine by $49 million to about $1.1 billion.

How Shock Waves Will Hit US If Greece Drops Euro

Bankers, governments and investors are starting to prepare for Greece to stop using the euro as its currency, a move that could spread turmoil throughout the global financial system. The worst-case scenario envisions governments defaulting on their debts, a run on European banks and a worldwide credit crunch reminiscent of the financial crisis in the fall of 2008.

Greek Default Sets Record: No Problem, Says Bernanke!

On Friday, Greece reached a deal to "restructure" its national debt downward by about $133 billion. That's the biggest sovereign restructuring in world history. But don't worry. According to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, it's no big deal for the U.S.

Obama: Details Needed on Europe Bailout Plan

With much at stake for the U.S., President Barack Obama said Thursday that the most important task for world leaders gathered at an economic summit in France was to resolve the European financial crisis. The EU had taken important steps toward a solution, the president said, but "we're going to have to flesh out more of the details about how the plan will be fully and decisively implemented."

Sneaky European Tax Robs U.S. Businesses Blind

Value-added taxes are big revenue generators in Europe, but if you're not a local person or business, you're supposed to be able to get them refunded. Tell that to the almost 72% of companies spending money overseas that have had trouble getting their VAT refunds or the 21% that have been unable to reclaim any VAT at all.

Austerity Means a Cloudier Forecast for LDK Solar

LDK Solar has long depended on demand driven by government subsidies from countries such as Germany, Spain and Italy, which makes it vulnerable in this period of European austerity. Trefis has revised its estimates for LDK Solar down -- but still meaningfully above the market price.

Why the European Debt Crisis Is Far From Over

The European debt crisis is back: Portugal is in political turmoil, and may need a major bailout, and Spain may too. But the E.U.'s strong healthy are rebelling against propping up their weaker neighbors. The real issue, though, is that the E.U. hasn't yet addressed the fundamental flaw built into it at the euro's creation.

Why the Dollar Is Stuck at Three-Month Lows

One would think that with the Mideast crisis East, oil prices skyrocketing and U.S. manufacturing rebounding smartly, the buck would be flying high. But no. Why that's so may lie in international perceptions about where interest rates are heading.

Why Japan Is Rushing to Aid Europe: It's All About China

World markets got a boost this week from Japan's pledge to help overly indebted EU nations. What's behind Japan's move? Sure, the spirit of global cooperation is part of it. But much more significant is Tokyo's need to keep pace with Beijing in the influence game.

European Melodrama Reveals a Shaky Economy

Europe is struggling with bloated deficits and austerity measures that are creating political unrest and discord. At risk is the very fiber of cooperation and teamwork that is the tenant of the European Union.

China Stole the Show in 2010. Next Year May Be Tougher

While the U.S. struggled with near-10% unemployment, China grew at that same pace over the past year. But the country faces massive internal problems that leave it in a far more difficult situation than the praise constantly heaped on it implies.