ePrivacy partner law firm UNVERZAGT wins major case at the German Federal Court of Justice: Online businesses cannot be held liable for their affiliate partners’ actions

On 26 January, the German Federal Court of Justice handed down a landmark decision with implications for the entire affiliate marketing industry: Neither online merchants that use affiliate advertising for themselves, nor the operators of affiliate marketing networks can be held liable for their affiliate partners’ (i.e. the participating publishers’) actions in terms of e.g. unfair advertising practices.

For years, this question had been the subject of a major dispute among the German courts with great implications for the online advertising sector. Now, it has been resolved thanks to a landmark decision by the German Federal Court of Justice. In the specific case, ePrivacy’s partner law firm UNVERZAGT represented Amazon’s affiliate network against the mattress manufacturer Bett1, which tried to hold Amazon liable for unfair advertising practices by its affiliate partners.

The Tagesschau also also reported on the German Federal Court of Justice decision.

We are pleased that we were able to contribute to greater legal certainty in the online advertising sector in this way. If you have any questions about the impact of this decision on your business model or other current issues concerning affiliate marketing, please feel free to contact us.

In particular, the issue of correct consent management continues to be the focus of the supervisory authorities, causing corresponding liability risks.

(Dr. Lukas Mezger, UNVERZAGT Rechtsanwälte)