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EU Opinion in Case C-376/22 Google Ireland and others

08 June

Thursday 8th June 2023

EU Opinion in Case C-376/22 Google Ireland and others

(Freedom of movement for persons)

Google, Meta Platforms and Tik Tok are contesting before the Austrian courts the finding of the Austrian communications regulatory authority (KommAustria), according to which the Austrian federal law of 2020 on measures for the protection of users of communications platforms (KoPl- G ) would apply to them, even if they are established in another Member State, namely Ireland.

This law aims to strengthen the responsibility of communication platforms. More specifically, it generally obliges providers of “communication platforms”, established in Austria or abroad, to set up a system of notification and verification of allegedly illegal content. In addition, according to this law, these providers are also required to publish regular reports on the treatment of these reports. The obligations arising from the KoPl-G do not require that an individual and concrete act be adopted beforehand. In addition, this law provides for fines in the event of violation of the obligations arising therefrom.

Google, Meta Platforms and Tik Tok argue that the KoPl-G is incompatible with the e-commerce directive, in particular with the country of origin principle.

The Austrian Administrative Court submitted questions to the Court of Justice in this respect. It seeks to ascertain whether a Member State may restrict the free movement of information society services from other Member States by adopting national measures of a general and abstract nature targeting a category of given information society services described in general terms as “communication platforms”, without these measures being taken on a case-by-case basis indicating named platforms.

Background Documents C-376/22

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08 June
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