Published on September 28, 2023 at 5:40 p.m.
In its standoff with Brussels, Amazon is currently gaining the upper hand over the European Commission. The champion of e-commerce has just obtained from the Court of Justice of the European Union the suspension of new digital regulation rules with regard to its activity in online advertising.
The most important judicial authority on the continent ruled in favor of the American group which had seized it last July. This contests the Digital Service Act and the status of “very large platform” which the European executive had assigned to it by developing this text which came into force at the end of August.
Designed to enforce content moderation rules on powerful social networks and search engines, the DSA also brings a breath of transparency to advertisements broadcast on Facebook, Instagram, Google and their competitors like Amazon. This is where things get stuck in the eyes of the company founded by Jeff Bezos, reluctant to reveal how the customers of its sales site are targeted by its advertising clients on its own website.
Concretely, European judges granted Amazon the suspension of the requirement to publish an ad repository and to set up a system allowing users to benefit from recommendation systems that are not based on profiling. . The duration of these suspensions is not specified but the judges indicate, in a ruling revealed by Reuters, that “the granting of the requested interim measures only amounts to maintaining the status quo for a limited period”.
A first victory
It’s a first victory for Amazon in its fight against its designation last April as a “very large online platform” alongside 18 other digital services that can pose systemic risks. For the European Commission, there is little doubt that Amazon deserves this status which it has awarded to platforms with more than 45 million users in Europe.
In addition to requirements relating to these advertising activities, the DSA requires Amazon to better combat the sale of counterfeit and illegal products on its marketplace. Amazon does not dispute exceeding the number of users set by Europe. But the Seattle company protests that it is one of the only distribution players to have to comply with European obligations.
But his reasoning takes as a frame of reference distribution as a whole (in stores and online) within which he is one actor among others. And no, the only spectrum of Internet sales that it largely dominates. Alibaba, Google Shopping and Zalando are also affected by European regulation. The German group also contests.
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