Friday, March 22, 2019
Friso Bostoen, KU Leuven - Institute for Consumer, Competition & Market addresses Competition Law in the Peer-to-Peer Economy.
ABSTRACT: The platform economy is subject to increasingly intense competition law enforcement. One part of the platform economy — the peer-to-peer (P2P) economy — has so far largely evaded scrutiny by competition law authorities. As this contribution shows, this is not necessarily because of a complete lack of anti-competitive behaviour. However, there is certainly an implicit (and at times explicit) recognition that the P2P economy is increasing the welfare of consumers, even when such welfare sometimes seems to detract from that of the peers. There is also considerable difficulty applying the traditional competition law framework to P2P platforms. This is especially clear when it comes to certain restrictive practices, exploitative abuses, horizontal shareholding, and ‘unfair’ competition. This contribution offers guidance to both competition authorities and P2P economy operators in assessing these practices.