Amazon’s request to suspend its obligation to make an advertisement repository publicly available is rejected

April 9, 2024

The Vice President of the Court of Justice has ruled in Case C-639/23 P(R) European Commission v Amazon Services Europe Sàrl.

In April 2023 the Commission adopted a decision under the Digital Services Act which designated Amazon Store as a very large online platform. Among other things, this meant that Amazon Store is obliged to make publicly available a repository containing detailed information on its online advertising under Article 39 of the DSA.

Amazon sought the annulment of that decision before the General Court of the EU. It had also made an

application for interim measures. In September 2023, the President of the General Court ordered that the Commission’s decision be suspended to the extent that Amazon Store was required to make the advertisement repository publicly available.

The Commission appealed.

The Vice-President of the Court of Justice has set aside the part of the General Court order suspending the Commission’s decision in so far as it concerns the advertisement repository. He said that the Commission had not had the opportunity to comment on the arguments Amazon had made to the General Court which was in breach of the principles that the parties should be heard. The Commission did present its arguments to the Court of Justice so the Vice President of the Court of Justice has given final judgment in the dispute and dismissed the application for interim measures.

The Vice-President of the Court considered that Amazon’s argument that the obligation introduced by the EU legislature to make an advertisement repository publicly available unlawfully limited its fundamental rights to respect for private life and the freedom to conduct a business, could not be regarded as irrelevant or lacking in seriousness.

Furthermore, in the absence of a suspension, it was likely that Amazon would suffer serious and irreparable harm before the intervention of any judgment annulling the Commission’s decision.

However, he also said that those findings are not decisive in themselves., concluding that the Commission’s interests in the full implementation of the DSA outweighed Amazon’s interests. Applying Article 39 in the interim would not have an adverse effect Amazon’s existence or long-term development. Amazon’s revenue from advertising represented only 7% of its overall revenue. Contrasting with this, the DSA is a central element of EU policy in the digital sector. If its rules were not applied, this would delay achieving the DSA’s objectives and could affect competition by making Amazon subject to different rules than other players in the digital sector.