Linking to the Online Dispute Resolution platform, an EU solution aimed to help online shoppers settling disputes with merchants across Europe, is obliged for all online retailers in Europe. But does this also apply to for sellers on Amazon? The higher regional court in Dresden decided this isn’t the case.
On 9 January 2016, the European Union launched the Online Dispute Resolution platform. Since then, all businesses selling goods or services online must link to the platform. This doesn’t always happen. And now an association for the promotion of fair competition started a case against a German seller on Amazon, who didn’t mention the platform and also didn’t provide a link to the portal website.
But the higher regional court of Dresden decided this seller wasn’t obliged to link to the ODR platform. Because Amazon isn’t the merchant’s website. Only in its own online store the merchant is obliged to point and link to the platform. The judges ruled that Amazon itself should link to the platform. It is the purpose of the information obligation that as many customers as possible gain knowledge of the dispute settlement portal. But according to the judges, it’s sufficient if only the online marketplace (Amazon in this case) meets this information obligation.
‘You should still link to the ODR platform’
eRecht24 warns online retailers who sell their products on Amazon not to delete links to the ODR platform immediately. The court in Koblenz for example, decided the exact opposite on January 25. In this case, there were also online retailers who offered their goods on online marketplaces (in this case it was about eBay) and were affected by the information obligation. “To play it safe, sellers should not only provide links to the ODR platform on their own websites, but also on marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon if they sell their products there.”