Amazon launches first Big Tech challenge to EU online content rules


By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Amazon has launched a legal challenge against its inclusion in a group of companies subject to tough European Union online content rules, in a move that technology experts have said may prompt other tech giants to follow suit.

Amazon’s challenge at the Luxembourg-based General Court, Europe’s second highest, is the first by a Big Tech company and came two weeks after German online retailer Zalando sued the European Commission over the same issue.

Under the Digital Services Act (DSA), which came into force last year, 19 online platforms and search engines were labelled as very large online platforms (VLOP) as they have more than 45 million users. The VLOP designation requires companies to do more to tackle illegal online content.

“If the VLOP designation were to be applied to Amazon and not to other large retailers across the EU, Amazon would be unfairly singled out and forced to meet onerous administrative obligations that don’t benefit EU consumers,” an Amazon spokesperson said.

The U.S. company said it is not the largest retailer in any of the EU countries where it operates and that its bigger rivals in these countries have not been designated as such.

“Amazon doesn’t fit this description of a ‘Very Large Online Platform’ under the DSA and therefore should not be designated as such,” the spokesperson said.

The company asked the General Court to annul its designation. The EU executive did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Sharon Singleton)

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