Peers or Professionals? The P2P-Economy and Competition Law

European Competition and Regulatory Law Review (2017)

University of Groningen Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 4/2018

31 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2018 Last revised: 18 Mar 2018

See all articles by Sofia Ranchordas

Sofia Ranchordas

University of Groningen, Faculty of Law

Date Written: December 20, 2017

Abstract

For almost a decade, digital peer-to-peer initiatives (eg, Uber, Airbnb) have been disrupting the traditional economy by offering informal, diverse, convenient and affordable services to consumers. However, more recently, the peer-to-peer economy has become increasingly professionalised. Service providers in the ride and home-sharing sectors feel significant pressure to offer services similar to those of professionals, practise the low or high prices suggested by algorithmic pricing tools, and show at all times professionalism. This shift towards professionalisation has been accompanied by regular information exchanges between service providers and platforms as well as by the growing use of algorithmic pricing. This article analyses first the evolution of the sharing economy from a peer-to-peer system that benefited from initial regulatory leniency due to its sustainable and informal goals, to a quasi-professional economy where users are driven by profit making and the need to receive excellent rating and reviews. Second, it provides a preliminary analysis of the potential competition concerns that might arise as information exchanges and pricing tools become more common in the platform economy. This article contributes to the existing literature by discussing the challenges of enforcing existing competition law tools in an algorithmic context.

Keywords: Sharing Economy; Peer-to-Peer Economy; Regulation; Algorithmic Pricing; Information Exchanges; Collusion; Hub-and-Spoke; Antitrust; Undertaking; Uber; Airbnb

JEL Classification: K21; K20

Suggested Citation

Ranchordas, Sofia, Peers or Professionals? The P2P-Economy and Competition Law (December 20, 2017). European Competition and Regulatory Law Review (2017); University of Groningen Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 4/2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3098732 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3098732

Sofia Ranchordas (Contact Author)

University of Groningen, Faculty of Law ( email )

Oude Kijk in 't Straat
Harmoniecomplex
9700 AS Groningen, Gn 9712
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.rug.nl/staff/s.h.ranchordas/

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
193
Abstract Views
785
rank
160,429
PlumX Metrics