According to news sources, Amazon is pushing back against its inclusion in a group of companies subject to the European Union’s (EU) strict online content rules. This move by the tech giant may prompt other industry leaders to follow suit. The challenge was made in the Luxembourg-based General Court, marking the first time a Big Tech company has taken such action. Just two weeks prior, German online retailer Zalando had also sued the European Commission over the same issue.
The controversy stems from the Digital Services Act (DSA), which came into effect last year. Under this act, 19 platforms and search engines were classified as very large online platforms (VLOPs) due to their extensive user base of over 45 million users. VLOP designation imposes additional responsibilities on these companies, including tackling illegal content online, conducting risk management, undergoing third-party audits, and sharing data with authorities and investigators.
Amazon argues that it does not qualify as the largest retailer in any EU country where it operates. It further contends that its biggest rivals in these countries have not been labeled as VLOPs. Therefore, Amazon has requested that the General Court annul its designation as a VLOP.
An Amazon spokesperson stated on Tuesday: “Amazon does not fit this description of a ‘Very Large Online Platform’ under the DSA and therefore should not be designated as such.” The company believes that if it were subjected to VLOP regulations while other large EU retailers are exempted, it would face unfair treatment and burdensome administrative obligations that do not benefit EU consumers.
In response to Amazon’s challenge, the EU executive expressed awareness of their position and vowed to defend it in court. A commission spokesperson emphasized that according to the DSA’s scope, all platforms exposing users to potentially illegal content through product or service sales are covered. They added that for both marketplaces and social networks, having a wide user reach increases platform responsibilities and risks associated with addressing them.
This development marks a significant moment in the ongoing battle between tech giants and regulatory bodies. As Amazon challenges its VLOP designation, it sets a precedent for other major players to question their inclusion under EU online content rules. The outcome of this legal dispute will likely have far-reaching implications for the future of content regulation in Europe.
In substance, Amazon’s decision to challenge its VLOP status within the EU highlights the company’s concerns about unfair treatment and excessive administrative obligations. This move may inspire other tech giants to question their own designations under the Digital Services Act. The case is now before the General Court, and both sides are prepared to defend their positions. The ultimate resolution will shape how online content regulations are enforced in Europe moving forward.
Source: (Indian Express)(https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-news-technology/amazon-makes-first-big-tech-challenge-to-eu-online-content-rules-8829113/)