The European Union has won an award in the UK Internet Industry Awards.

It's nothing to boast about however; the European Union is the lucky recipient of the "Internet Villain Award".

The reason why the EU was awarded the title is not clarified, although it is likely to be for a number of reasons.

The EU has recently been criticised for plans to introduce software patents. Originally designed to extend patent protection to inventions that are implemented by computers, such as mobile phones or washing machines, the legislation has been attacked as opening the door to a US style patent regime where "pure" software and business methodology, such as Amazon's One Click online purchasing process, can be protected against imitation.

The EU has also fined Microsoft record sums of money for "illegal anti-trust activity". This is because European lawmakers believe Microsoft leveraged its dominance in the desktop software market to gain advantage against competing media player providers.

The EU yesterday launched a price enquiry into iTunes. The investigation follows complaints of unfair pricing from the UK consumer's association.