Amazon Challenges EU’s ‘Large Online Platform’ Law

Amazon has filed a court challenge to Europe’s online content law for Big Tech companies.

The company on Tuesday (July 11) filed suit before the Luxembourg-based General Court, protesting the European Commission’s (EC) decision to designate it a “very large online platform” under the Digital Services Act (DSA).

“The DSA was designed to address systemic risks posed by very large companies with advertising as their primary revenue and that distribute speech and information,” Amazon said in a statement provided to PYMNTS.

“We agree with the EC’s objective and are committed to protecting customers from illegal products and content, but Amazon doesn’t fit this description of a ‘Very Large Online Platform’ (VLOP) under the DSA and therefore should not be designated as such.” 

The statement adds that Amazon isn’t the largest retailer in any of the European countries where it does business, while the companies that are the biggest retailers in said countries have not been designated VLOPs.

“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,” the company said.

When reached for comment, a European Commission spokesperson declined to comment to PYMNTS.

“We take note of the decision of Amazon. We have no comment,” the EC spokesperson said. “The scope of the DSA is very clear and is defined to cover all platforms that expose their users to content, including the sale of products or services, which can be illegal. For marketplaces as for social networks, very wide user reach increases the risks and the platforms’ responsibilities to address them.”

Amazon’s court action comes weeks after German fashion retailer Zalando filed its own suit — this one in the European Union’s Court of Justice — disputing its VLOP classification.

“Zalando argues that the European Commission did not take into account the majority retail nature of its business model and that it does not present a ‘systemic risk’ of disseminating harmful or illegal content from third parties,” the company said.

“On the contrary, Zalando offers its customers a safe online environment with highly curated products from leading brands and established partners that are thoroughly vetted.”

Adopted last year, the DSA requires search engines and online platforms to publish their monthly active users to illustrate whether they meet the 45 million user threshold to be designated VLOPs.

The commission announced on April 19 companies it had named VLOPs. In addition to Zalando and Amazon, they include businesses owned by Alphabet and Meta, along with Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, Wikipedia and

“We consider these 19 online platforms and search engines have become systemically relevant and have special responsibilities to make the internet safer,” Thierry Breton, the European Commission’s industry chief, said at the time.