A win for press freedom in Europe. Australia... not so much. There has been a significant freedom of the press win in the European Court Of Justice, according to London reports. Here's the ruling and here's a posting on the blogsite FT Alphaville by the former Financial Editor of The Guardian (which was one of the five papers involved). It is a significant ruling and goes right to the heart of so-called 'rumourtrage' and the leaking of information about companies.

It involves a leak to the FT and then other media groups back in 2001 of details a bid big global brewer, InterBrew, was about to launch for SA Breweries of South Africa. That bid eventually happened, but not before InBev went ballistic. Strangely, the Financial Services Authority, Britain's key financial regulator, joined the legal witchhunt against the media groups as well. It proved as inept in this case as it was in regulating the activities of Britain's banks and hedge funds etc half a decade later. It lost interest and withdrew back in 2004. But it still left a legal liability to cover costs for the media groups, such the European Court ordered by paid overnight.