On 13 June 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU“) published its ruling on the classification of Gmail in the EU following a request for a preliminary ruling from the German Courts. Gmail is a web-based email service, and is a type of “Over-The-Top” (“OTT”) service.
The CJEU determined that Gmail is not an electronic communications service (“ECS”), as defined in the Framework Directive (Directive 2002/21/EC, as amended) – i.e. a service consisting mainly or wholly of the conveyance of signals. As a result, Gmail should not be subject to various telecommunications regulatory obligations in the EU, including registration/notification (depending on the national regime), payment of administrative fees, security, and consumer protection measures such as minimum contract terms and transparency requirements. Continue Reading