AliExpress faces DSA investigations as the first marketplace in Europe

We reported about the Digital Service Act (DSA) and its implications for recommendations and e-commerce previously. As the European Commission reports, there is now the third official investigation and the first investigation into a marketplace, namely AliExpress (first and second were X and TikTok). Among others, AliExpress is under observation for “the transparency of advertising and recommender systems“.

Here is a summary of the press release.

The European Commission has initiated formal proceedings to examine if AliExpress violated the Digital Services Act (DSA), focusing on issues related to risk management, content moderation, complaints handling, advertising transparency, trader traceability, and data access for researchers. This decision follows a preliminary investigation, including an analysis of AliExpress’ risk assessment and transparency reports, along with responses to the Commission’s inquiries.

The investigation will scrutinize AliExpress’ adherence to DSA mandates, particularly in preventing the spread of illegal content and products, enforcing terms of service, handling user complaints, ensuring trader traceability, and maintaining transparency in advertising and recommender systems. Significant concerns include the platform’s failure to block access to harmful products, inadequate illegal content control, and insufficient measures against deceptive practices.

No deadline is set for concluding these proceedings, which aim to ensure AliExpress meets DSA requirements. The outcome remains open, and this action does not affect potential proceedings under other DSA articles or other regulatory frameworks. AliExpress, identified as a Very Large Online Platform since April 2023, must comply with DSA obligations due to its significant user base in the EU.

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