EU Court rules against Italy in tech giants’ dispute

Court of Justice of the European Union

Italy received a blown from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) after the court sided in favour of US tech giants Alphabet, Amazon and Airbnb over a rule that forced them to provide undisclosed information to local authorities.

The rule forced online service providers to register and submit information plus pay financial contributions in case they operate in the country. The provision was set up between 2020 and 2021 and was challenged almost immediately by the tech companies.

The CJEU sided with them on May 30. The final ruling on the matter precludes possible appeals from Italy. The court stated that “a member state may not impose additional obligations on an online service provider established in another member state.”

Under EU law companies providing online services are subjects only to the laws of the countries where they are established, not where they provide service. Thus, the Luxembourg-based court stated that companies should not receive “additional obligations which, although required for the provision of those services in that country, are not imposed in their member state of establishment.”

Amazon’s EU headquarters are in Luxembourg, while Alphabet’s Google and Airbnb are headquartered in Ireland.

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