Zalando sues European Commission over historic online content rules

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Zalando, Europe’s biggest online fashion retailer, sued the European Commission on Tuesday for putting it in the same category as Google and Alphabet’s Meta Platforms over tough new rules for EU on online content.

Under rules known as the Digital Services Act (DSA) which came into force last year, Zalando has been labeled a Very Large Online Platform (VLOP) as it has more than 45 million users.

European industry chief Thierry Breton qualified 19 online platforms and search engines in April, including five Alphabet subsidiaries, two Meta units, two Microsoft companies, Twitter, Alibaba’s AliExpress and VLOP’s Zalando. .

Germany’s Zalando, the only European company on the list, challenged the labeling methodology and took the case to the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union, Europe’s highest court.

The company said the Commission failed to take into account the hybrid nature of its business model and the fact that it does not pose a systemic risk of spreading harmful or illegal content from third parties.

“The European Commission misinterpreted our user numbers and failed to recognize our primarily retail business model. The number of European visitors connecting with our partners is well below the DSA threshold to be considered like a VLOP,” Zalando CEO Robert Gentz ​​said in a statement. .

Zalando said it had about 31 million “average monthly active recipients of its service,” matching its partner program and connected retail program, below the DSA threshold of 45 million users.

The Commission declined to comment.

Breton sat down with Gentz ​​last week and later tweeted that success comes with responsibility.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Christina Fincher)

Leave a Comment