Despite the efficiencies and benefits associated with the collaborative economy, there are concerns about how it can be properly regulated. The difference in regulatory regimes for online and offline services can lead in some cases to situations of unfair market competition.
This Policy Contribution tackles the definition and benefits of collaborative economy, as well as the distinction between professional and non-professional services, recommendations on safety and transparency for users, and the way to approach regulatory concerns.
On March 2, 2016, the German Federal Cartel Office opened an antitrust investigation into Facebook’s contract clauses on data use, in what appears to be the first antitrust case in Europe based on a breach of data protection rules. We discuss the link between data protection rules and competition policy, which is still underexplored.
Consumers enjoy the cheaper taxi services provided by Uber, but the company has proven divisive among taxi drivers. Regulators should allow Uber to operate, but under stricter regulations, to ensure that consumers reap the benefits, and drivers operate on a level playing field.
The collaborative economy is transforming business and society, but what are the implications for traditional industries and the potential role of regulation?
The sharing economy allows individuals to access goods and services coordinated by online communities such as Uber and Airbnb. The emergence of sharing platforms in Indonesia is having an observable impact, but what are the technical hurdles faced by sharing economy firms?
The European Commission's just-released Digital Single Market strategy paper is good news. However, the paper does not spell out how the proposals will be implemented, and thus is of little help in forecasting what will happen next.
The following graph shows the individual index of Google searches for "Uber" and the index of searches for "Taxi", both in Germany. Uber is benefiting from the opposition of taxi drivers and attempts to suppress it.
Uber, the innovative ridesharing service, has recently generated a lot of anger from the taxi industry because it enabled market entry for many private drivers. In this fight taxis are indeed disadvantaged by strict industry regulation and need for licenses. Dealing with this issue is a major task for regulators. Another challenge for regulators is to create efficient regulation that takes into account the features of “sharing” economy.
As sharing economy companies become valued in the billions, grand claims are being made for the future of these new providers. But the question remains open as to whether the success of these companies, which often relies on lower standard of regulatory oversight and taxes, are a net plus for the economy as a whole.