Major business organizations have teamed to protest against the European Union's attempts to regulate the internet by extending its remit over traditional broadcasters.

The Confederation of British Industry and Germany's Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie, among others, believe the expansion of the EU's TV without Frontiers Directive will "stifle creativity".

The CBI and its six allies argue that proposed regulation of all online audio-visual content, if it is downloadable or broadcast material, would will stifle innovation, introduce unnecessary red tape, and even inhibit job creation.

Says John Cridland, CBI deputy director-general: "New forms of online media are still evolving and need time to develop. The EU should heed its own principles of better regulation and allow a self-regulatory approach to work before shackling an industry that needs to keep pace with rapid technological change."

Online web and audio content has become an important advertising tool, allowing marketers to deliver online messages that would not be allowed on television under current broadcast regulations.

Such cases, coupled with the growing use of web content and perennial concerns about online pornography, have prompted the EU to consider regulating the market.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff