Italy: Certain additional obligations on online service providers not allowed under EU law (CJEU judgment)

Certain additional obligations under Italian law on providers of online intermediation services and search engines are precluded under EU law.

CJEU judgment

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) today held that certain additional obligations under Italian law on providers of online intermediation services and search engines are precluded under EU law.

The case identifying information is: Joined cases Airbnb Ireland (C-662/22) and Amazon Services Europe (C-667/22), Expedia (C-663/22), joined cases Google Ireland (C-664/22) and Eg Vacation Rentals Ireland (C-666/22), and Amazon Services Europe (C-665/22). 


As explained in a CJEU release, Italy adopted in 2020 and 2021 domestic laws imposing obligations on providers of online intermediation services to register with an administrative authority, periodically forward to it a document on their economic situation, provide it with a series of detailed information, and pay it a financial contribution.

Several companies subject to those obligations challenged the laws as contrary to EU law. All of the companies, except for one established in the United States, invoked the principle of freedom to provide services and argued that they are already subject to the legal system of the EU member state in which they are established. Under the EU directive on electronic commerce, it is the home member state of the company providing information society services that regulates the provision of those services. Member states of destination, bound by the principle of mutual recognition, are required, subject to certain exceptions, not to restrict the freedom to provide those services.

The CJEU agreed with the companies and held that EU law precluded measures such as those adopted by Italy. The court found that those obligations do not fall within the exceptions permitted by the directive on electronic commerce. First, they are of general and abstract application. Second, they are not necessary in order to protect one of the objectives of general interest referred to in that directive.



The KPMG name and logo are trademarks used under license by the independent member firms of the KPMG global organization. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee and does not provide services to clients. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm. The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. For more information, contact KPMG's Federal Tax Legislative and Regulatory Services Group at: + 1 202 533 3712, 1801 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006.