The Sharing Economy Meets the Sherman Act: Is Uber a Firm, a Cartel, or Something in Between?

75 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2017 Last revised: 9 Jun 2019

See all articles by Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson

University of Idaho

Max Huffman

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Date Written: April 18, 2017

Abstract

The sharing economy is a new industrial structure that is made possible by instantaneous internet communication and changes in life, work, and purchasing habits of individual entrepreneurs and consumers. Antitrust law is an economic regulatory scheme dating to 1890 (in the United States) and designed to address centrally controlled concentrations of economic power and threats that those concentrations would operate to contravene both consumer interest and economic efficiency. Antitrust needs reenvisioning and careful application to accommodate a modern enterprise structure in which thousands or millions of independent contractors joint forces to provide a service by agreement among themselves. The success of Uber, Airbnb, and other sharing economy firms, and the consumer benefits those firms promise, show both how difficult and how important that reenvisioning can be.

Keywords: Antitrust, Sharing Economy, Gig Economy, Peer-To-Peer, Sherman Act, Section One, Rule of Reason, Quick Look, Uber, Airbnb, Taskrabbit, Lyft, Cartel, Single Firm

Suggested Citation

Anderson, Mark and Huffman, Max, The Sharing Economy Meets the Sherman Act: Is Uber a Firm, a Cartel, or Something in Between? (April 18, 2017). Columbia Business Law Review, vol. 2017, p. 859 (2017); Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Research Paper No. 2017-8. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2954632

Mark Anderson

University of Idaho ( email )

P.O. Box 442321
Moscow, ID 83844-2321
United States

Max Huffman (Contact Author)

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law ( email )

530 West New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
United States

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