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BERLIN (Reuters) - Airbus (AIR.PA) and Lockheed Martin (LMT.N) said on Tuesday they are teaming up to meet a growing demand for aerial refueling from the U.S. Air Force, nearly eight years after the European planemaker lost an initial battle with Boeing (BA.N). The deal marks the first major foray by Airbus into the huge U.S. military market since its failed 2012 bid to merge with Britain’s BAE Systems (BAES.L) and its large U.S. business. It also promises a sequel to an epic battle between the world’s largest planemakers, that saw two former Boeing executives sent to federal prison for ethics violations.

Demand for tankers, which refuel combat aircraft during exercises smiling buddha cufflinks or missions, has grown as armed forces stage more longer-range operations around the world, The U.S, Air Force, which wants to ultimately replace its entire fleet of more than 400 tankers, is looking to meet growing demand for aerial refueling with possible fee-for-service arrangements, purchases of hundreds of additional aircraft, and the future development of a stealthy tanker, Senior Airbus and Lockheed executives have agreed to explore all these opportunities, but are still working on details of their future cooperation, sources familiar with the matter said..

Airbus, which previously worked with Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N), won a $35 billion contract in 2008 to build its MRTT tankers for the U.S. Air Force. But the deal was overturned amid political pressure and the U.S. Air Force re-ran the competition, which Boeing ultimately won, landing a $49 billion contract in 2011 to build 179 of its 767-based tankers. Boeing had hoped this would lead to further orders but it has struggled with the KC-46A program, missing deadlines and racking up some $3 billion in additional costs.

Todd Blecher, a Boeing spokesman, told Reuters it is working with the U.S, Air Force to deliver the first tanker before the end of the year and the new aircraft would be “the backbone of global mobility for generations to come”, But Airbus and Lockheed smiling buddha cufflinks now hope to win orders for the A330-based Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), and eventually design work on a next-generation tanker, “We will be well-positioned to provide the United States Air Force with the advanced refueling solutions needed to meet 21st century security challenges,” Lockheed Chief Executive Marillyn Hewson said in a statement..

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Google (GOOGL.O), Amazon (AMZN.O), Apple (AAPL.O) and other tech giants face one of their biggest challenges this week as a key EU lawmaking committee prepares to take a tough stance on legislation designed to curb their power and boost the rights of businesses. In a bid to ensure a level playing field between the tech companies and bricks-and-mortar businesses, the European Commission in April drafted rules to prevent unfair business practices by app stores, search engines, e-commerce sites and hotel booking websites.

These include forcing search engines such as Google to provide information on how they rank products and services in internet search results, Europe’s telecoms industry has also seized the opportunity to lobby for tougher rules for internet rivals, The proposal, known as the platform-to-business regulation (P2B), needs to be approved by EU countries and the European Parliament before it can become law, Lawmakers, smiling buddha cufflinks under pressure to be seen as consumer-friendly ahead of May elections, have come up with numerous amendments to beef up the draft..

Key among these are one proposed by Danish center-left lawmaker Christel Schaldemose, the lead parliament negotiator, which takes aim at online marketplaces such as Amazon which critics say use their merchants’ data to make copycat products. Schaldemose wants these companies to set up Chinese walls between subsidiaries and to get merchants’ consent before their data can be used. Her compatriot, European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, is also looking into the issue. Lawmakers have also come up with a list of unfair trading practices which they want to ban, and also proposed more powers for national authorities to go after rule breakers.

Tech lobbying group CCIA, whose members include Amazon, Facebook, Google and eBay, said lawmakers should not be too hasty in clamping down on the sector, “Intrusive rules in a one-size-fits-all regulation make little sense for a sector as diverse as online services, That is why both Commission and Member States support a measured approach based on transparency,” CCIA vice president Jakob Kucharczyk said, EU governments adopted a joint position last week, sticking closely to the Commission’s proposal, The parliamentary committee will vote on the amendments on Thursday, after which the EU body will thrash out a common position smiling buddha cufflinks with EU governments and the Commission..

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