The Sharing Economy at the CJEU: Does Airbnb Pass the ‘Uber Test’? – Some Observations on the Pending Case C-390/18 – Airbnb Ireland
7 Journal of European Consumer and Market Law 172-174 (2018)
3 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2018
Date Written: August 14, 2018
The rise of digital platforms such as Uber and Airbnb has sparked a controversy about how to fit the new business models into existing legal categories and whether there is a need to adapt the regulatory framework to the new platform economy. In December 2017, in a much publicised judgment, the CJEU held that Uber is not a just a digital intermediary providing ‘information society services’, but a transport service provider. Consequently, according to the CJEU, Uber does not benefit from the ‘internal market clause in Article 3(2) of Directive 2000/31/EC, which precludes Member States from restricting the freedom to provide cross-border information society services. While Uber has discontinued its services in several EU Member States, the focus of the regulatory battle is now shifting towards short-term rental platforms. Thus, on 16 July 2018, the European Commission and a phalanx of national consumer authorities have called on Airbnb to comply with EU consumer law rules. At the same time, Member States are tightening their regulatory grip on short-term rentals. Now, the first request for a preliminary ruling concerning Airbnb has reached the CJEU. The brief case note provides some very first reflections on the pending case.
Keywords: Airbnb, Platform Economy, Digital Single Market, European Law
JEL Classification: K10, K20, K23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation