Competitive Risks in the Sharing Economy and the European Union Market Regulation
17 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2016
Date Written: October 15, 2016
The massive reduction of costs due to efficient platform brokerage has allowed the “collaborative commons” to expand and evolve, and also to create new and very efficient markets: the so-called “sharing economy”. However, bigger and more efficient sharing platforms also have some drawbacks, such as the concern that these powerful digital brokers could harm fair competition. Nevertheless, economic models seem to support the idea that digital platforms have rarely inhibited the emergence of competitors, nor do they seem to be extracting predatory benefits by abusing their position to the detriment of consumers. This relative lack of risk has pushed competition authorities across Europe to promote the new collaborative business models, regardless of other potential risks: not only the competitive risks, but also the social ones. Both deserve greater and more careful analysis. In order to produce such an analysis, it would be necessary for the competition authorities to be institutionally reshaped and reinforced with different types of staff. Also, a more ambitious vision of the competitive issues, which combines both economic and social issues, would be required.
Keywords: sharing economy, legal change, competition, two-sided markets, digital brokerage
JEL Classification: K20, K21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation