Volume 54 (2017) / Issue 1
The advent of the collaborative economy is what economists call “disruptive innovation” while some even talk of “the fourth industrial revolution”. This revolution started in the US and is now making its way into the EU. The aim of the present article is to outline, explore and analyse the way EU regulation applies/may apply to the collaborative economy. In the first part we rehearse the reasons for, and the ways of, the development of the collaborative economy. We also discuss the various regulatory reactions it has (or has not) triggered, so far, in the US and the EU. In the second part we examine the way the various EU rules may apply to those participating in the collaborative economy, i.e. the platforms, “prosumers” and consumers. We conclude by addressing the way regulation could or should evolve in this area.
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