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Judgment of the Federal Court of Justice: Amazon is not liable for advertising from partner sites


According to a ruling by the BGH, the online retailer Amazon is not responsible for misleading advertising from partners. However, the complaining mattress manufacturer was right on one point.

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Amazon homepage: Questionable mattress ranking

Photo: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand / dpa

Amazon places a number of advertisements on partner websites to lure customers to its own products.

But the online giant is not liable for advertising on the websites of so-called affiliate partners, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) in Karlsruhe ruled.

In any case, the dispute concerns an independent website and not an extension of Amazon's business operations.

Through its affiliate program, Amazon involves operators of other websites in sales.

The partners can set links to Amazon or to certain products offered there on their pages.

If a sale is made in this way, the affiliate partners receive a commission.

Lawsuit from mattress manufacturer

A mattress manufacturer complained that such links can also be found in fake test reports and dubious product tips.

He believes that Amazon should be responsible for this.

In this specific case, it was about a questionable mattress ranking, in which the company's mattress also appeared.

But the lawsuit remained unsuccessful across all instances.

The reason and prerequisite for the attribution of the business activity of an agent is that it is practically an extension of the agent's own business operations.

According to the BGH, the latter must also exercise “a certain amount of control” over the officer.

This is not the case here.

The affiliate partner operates an independent website with editorially designed articles on the subjects of sleep and mattresses.

The affiliate partners design the content of these pages at their own discretion.

The links were not set on behalf of Amazon, but to receive the commissions, i.e. in their own interest.

The BGH found that there was no expansion of Amazon's own business operations.

On one point, however, the judges agreed with the mattress manufacturer: according to the findings of the lower courts, the advertising was misleading and therefore anti-competitive.

However, Amazon is not responsible for this.

(Az: I ZR 27/22)


Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2023-01-26

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