Commission sends requests for information to 17 Very Large Online Platforms and Search Engines under the Digital Services Act

Today, the Commission has sent formal requests for information under the Digital Services Act (DSA) to 17 of the Very Large Online Platforms and Search Engines (VLOPs and VLOSEs) designated on 25 April 2023, namely AliExpress, Amazon Store, AppStore, Bing,, Facebook, Google Search, Google Play, Google Maps, Google Shopping, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube and Zalando. These VLOPs and VLOSEs are requested to provide more information on the measures they have taken to comply with the obligation to give access, without undue delay, to the data that is publicly accessible on their online interface to eligible researchers.

Access to data by researchers is key to ensure accountability and public scrutiny of platforms’ policies. Researcher access to publicly available data greatly contributes to the goals of the DSA, which is particularly important in view of upcoming events such as elections at national and EU level, as well as for an ongoing monitoring of the presence of illegal content and goods on online platforms.

The 17 VLOPs and VLOSEs must provide the requested information to the Commission by 8 February 2024*. Based on the assessment of the replies, the Commission will determine next steps.

Following their designation as Very Large Online Platforms or Search Engines, the 17 VLOPs and VLOSEs are required to comply with the full set of provisions introduced by the DSA, including the data access provision.

On 18 December 2023 the Commission opened formal infringement proceedings against the VLOP X on several grounds, included suspected breaches of the obligations concerning data access to researchers.