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The European Regulation of Online Intermediary Platforms in the Age of the Collaborative Economy

 |  July 23, 2019

By Aura Esther Vilalta (Open University of Catalunya)

Online intermediary platforms impel the creation of value that generates economic growth in the European Single Market. It is essential to establish a regulatory framework that fosters its potential while avoiding the confusion and fragmentation of regulations and the proliferation of contradictory sectoral rules at national level. It is therefore needed to order the European Union’s regulatory acquis to which these digital platforms are subject – in areas such as competition, consumer protection, personal data, single market freedoms or network and information security, in order to guarantee its fulfillment, to generate confidence and to ensure that all the agents can compete in conditions of equality. Effectiveness is also ofgreat importance. Given the cross-border nature of these platforms, implementation requires the articulation of self-fulfillment mechanisms such as reputational tools and other measures that allow cooperation between platforms and national authorities. This paper reports on the phenomenon, describes the state of the art inseveral European Union member estates, analyzes the recent European Union initiatives and the incipient academic work carried out by the scientific community to provide digital platforms with a legal framework. The paper also poses some propositive and lege ferenda indications to articulate and order the future regulatory regulatory framework, taking into account the various practical problems that derive from contracting within such platforms.

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