Amazon has won the first round of a legal battle with European Union (EU) regulators. The US online retailer is initially receiving legal support in its fight against EU technology rules that classify the company as a “very large online platform”. This was reported by the Reuters news agency on Thursday.
Very large online platforms must maintain an online directory of displayed advertising that provides information about clients and target groups. Amazon is defending itself against this. The US group does not want to be classified as a “very large online platform” under the EU Digital Services Act (DSA) regulation and challenged a corresponding decision by the European Commission before the EU Court of Justice at the beginning of July Luxembourg. In April, the EU antitrust authorities classified Amazon, along with 18 other platforms and search engines, as a “very large online platform”. The online retailer then applied for an interim order suspending the requirements of the Digital Services Act regarding the creation and publication of an ad store and the provision of a non-profiling option for each of its recommendation systems until the court rules on the challenge. The lawsuit is filed with the General Court of the European Union under case number T-367/23.
EU Court of Justice follows Amazon’s arguments
In a ruling late Wednesday, the president of the EU Court of Justice partially suspended the European Commission’s April decision that forced Amazon to publish a detailed database of the ads it receives, including their content, brand name or subject and the person who paid for them. “Granting the requested interim measures amounts to no more than maintaining the status quo for a limited period of time,” the judges said in their September 27 ruling, according to Reuters. However, the court did not agree to stay a separate DSA requirement for Amazon to offer the online store’s users a non-profiling option for the recommendations provided by Amazon.
Amazon welcomed the injunction, calling it “an important first step that supports our overall position that Amazon does not meet the description of a ‘very large online platform’ under the DSA and is therefore not considered a ‘very large online platform’ in an emailed statement should be referred to as such”. Amazon’s broader challenge to its classification as a “very large online platform” under the regulation continues.
The EU passed the Digital Services Act last year because it believed powerful tech companies had failed to combat illegal content on their platforms. The rules require online marketplaces like Amazon to track sellers on their platforms, add ways for customers to flag illegal content and randomly test for illegal products.
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