European Commission identifies initial group of Extremely Large Online Platforms and Search Engines under DSA

The EU issues new rules of operation for 19 very large online platforms and search engines.

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The European Commission adopted the first designation decisions under the Digital Services Act (DSA), which involves the designation of 17 Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) and 2 Very Large Online Search Engines (VLOSEs) that have a minimum of 45 million monthly active users. These include:

  • Alibaba AliExpress
  • Amazon Store
  • Apple AppStore
  • Booking.com
  • Facebook
  • Google Play
  • Google Maps
  • Google Shopping
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat
  • TikTok
  • Twitter
  • Wikipedia
  • YouTube
  • Zalando

Very Large Online Search Engines designated by the European Commission are Bing and Google Search.

The designation of the platforms was determined by the user data that they were required to disclose before 17 February 2023. The above-mentioned companies are expected to comply with the complete set of new obligations under the DSA within four months.

The Digital Service Act is intended to bridge the gap in the online trade space, a gap created due to innovations over the last 20 years. DSA aligns national legislation in the region, levelling the playing field, particularly favouring consumers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

It complements state and sector-specific legislation such as the ‘Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market’ by stipulating the detection, flagging and removal of content, products and services for these platforms. It also outlines a new risk management framework for VLOPs and VLOSEs with a user base of 45 million and more.

Even though illegal content will continue to be sanctioned at the country level, these rules will enforce existing consumer rights online, including in cases where compensation is merited.