Platform Intermediaries in the Sharing Economy: Questions of Liability and Remedy

Nordic Journal of Commercial Law, 1 (2019), pp.20-41

Copenhagen Business School, CBS LAW Research Paper No. 19-23

23 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2019

See all articles by Kim Ostergaard

Kim Ostergaard

Copenhagen Business School - CBS Law

Søren Sandfeld Jakobsen

Aalborg University

Date Written: June 4, 2019

Abstract

National and international characteristics of sharing economy imply that a platform intermediary may hold a dominant legal and economic position between a debtor and a creditor. Legally, such an agent1 will be the commercial link between the performance debtor and the performance creditor. Hence, the platform intermediary’s contractual obligations do not appertain to the performance creditor by default but to the economic and legal nexus between the committed and legitimate contractors. Yet recent legal practice in Danish substantive law, along with a series of court rulings, indicates that a platform intermediary may under certain circumstances be considered duty subject in relation to the performance creditor. In such cases, the platform intermediary—though originally deemed an agent—is contractually obliged to the performance debtor. This creates two interesting legal issues which are analysed in our article. First, we address the requirements and circumstances which may lead to the platform intermediary being directly liable to the performance creditor in case of non-performance of the sharing economy service in question. Secondly, we analyse which remedies the performance creditor can impose on the intermediary in a situation where the intermediary is considered contractually obliged to the performance debtor.

Keywords: Platform intermediaries, Sharing economy services, Online services, Agent, Liability, Contract law

JEL Classification: K12, K30

Suggested Citation

Ostergaard, Kim and Sandfeld Jakobsen, Søren, Platform Intermediaries in the Sharing Economy: Questions of Liability and Remedy (June 4, 2019). Nordic Journal of Commercial Law, 1 (2019), pp.20-41; Copenhagen Business School, CBS LAW Research Paper No. 19-23. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3399089

Kim Ostergaard (Contact Author)

Copenhagen Business School - CBS Law ( email )

Porcelaenshave 18B, 1
Frederiksberg 2000
Denmark

Søren Sandfeld Jakobsen

Aalborg University ( email )

Fredrik Bajers Vej 7E
Aalborg, DK-9220
Denmark

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