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Amazon Challenges EU Content Rules in the U.S., Argues Against Being Unfairly Targeted

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Amazon Challenges EU Content Rules in the U.S., Argues Against Being Unfairly Targeted

Amazon has launched a legal battle to contest its inclusion in the European Union’s list of companies bound by significant regulations regarding online content. This move by Amazon marks the first instance of a U.S. company challenging the proposed legislation, signaling a significant development in the ongoing debate surrounding online content rules.

On Tuesday, the e-retailer Amazon lodged a petition with Luxembourg’s General Court, contending that it should not be classified as one of the 17 “very large online platforms” (VLOPs) under the European Union’s Digital Services Act. This legislation imposes more stringent regulations on VLOPs regarding the monitoring and removal of illegal content from their platforms. Notably, other prominent U.S. technology giants, namely Google, Meta (formerly Facebook), and Apple, are also subjected to these rules.

Amazon has contested its classification as a VLOP under the Digital Services Act, arguing that this designation should be reserved for companies whose primary revenue comes from advertising and who primarily disseminate speech and information. The e-commerce giant disputes that its business model aligns with the criteria for being labeled a VLOP under the act.

In a statement, an Amazon spokesperson emphasized that the majority of their revenue is derived from their retail business and clarified that they are not the largest retailer in any European Union country where they operate. They highlighted that other major retailers in each EU country have not been designated as VLOPs. Amazon expressed concern that if the VLOP classification were to be applied selectively to them while excluding other large retailers, it would result in unfair targeting and impose burdensome administrative obligations that do not benefit EU consumers. The European Commission, the executive body of the EU, declined to comment, according to a representative.

The Digital Services Act (DSA), enforced since November last year, mandates that companies exceeding 45 million monthly active users adhere to a set of regulations concerning the monitoring of hate speech, disinformation, and counterfeit products on their platforms. These companies are required to submit risk assessments, undergo external and independent audits, and implement various compliance measures. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in fines of up to 6% of their annual revenue.

About Vijendra

Vijendra
Vijendra has a master’s degree in Marketing and editor with passion. Exploring economic policies of different economies and analyzing geo-politics policies is of keen interest. In his free time he is a hardcore metal-rock and punk music fanatic.

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