Global online retailer Amazon has filed a legal challenge with the European General Court, disputing its designation as a “very large online platform” under the European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA).

The DSA, which comes into effect on 25 August, imposes new obligations on major tech companies to ensure user safety and holds them accountable for illegal content and problematic products.

Amazon argues that it is being treated unfairly and disagrees with the classification, stating that most of its revenue comes from its retail business rather than advertising.

German online retailer Zalando has also filed a similar legal claim against the DSA.

Amazon claims unfair treatment

Amazon asserts that it is being “unfairly singled out” as a “very large online platform” under the DSA. The company argues that none of the largest retailers in the European countries where it operates have received the same designation.

While Amazon supports the DSA’s goals of addressing online risks, it contends that it does not fit the description of a platform primarily focused on advertising and distributing “speech and information.”

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EU Commission defends its position

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, has chosen not to comment directly on the case but asserts that it will defend its position in court.

It maintains that the DSA’s scope is clear and covers all platforms that expose users to content, including the sale of products or services that may be illegal.

The commission emphasises that platforms with a wide user reach, including marketplaces and social networks, bear a greater responsibility to address the associated risks.

Prior to Amazon’s filing, German-based e-commerce platform Zalando had already lodged a legal challenge against the DSA.

Zalando, which specialises in designer shoes and clothing, argues that it does not pose a “systemic risk” of spreading harmful or illegal content from third parties.