Consumers contracting with other consumers in the sharing economy: fill in the gaps in the legal framework or switch to the blockchain model ?

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Numerous legal provisions were enacted at an EU level in order to protect consumers contracting with professionals, especially in a digital environment (see, in particular, the protection measures provided by directive 2011/83/EU on consumer rights; directive 2005/29/EC on unfair commercial practices; directive 2000/31/EC on electronic commerce, etc.). With the development of the web 2.0 and the so-called “sharing economy”, consumers are now entitled to easily conclude agreements with other consumers through intermediation platforms. EU Consumer Acquis shall normally be applicable to the relationship between the platform and each of the peers (the seller or the provider on one hand, and the buyer or the recipient on the other hand), with the exclusion of C2C relationships. The objective of this paper is to highlight the potential issues and gaps in the context of consumer protection (lack of information, warranty issues, no right of withdrawal, etc.), resulting from the fact that C2C agreements are normally out of scope of the EU Consumer Acquis (and only governed by the traditional contract law). Some propositions de lege ferenda will also be made, in order to ensure a higher level of consumer protection (with additional legal duties prescribed for the intermediaries, for instance). Blockchain technology and smart contracts shall also be taken into account, since they should normally give rise to a “disintermediation” process. It should however be assessed whether or not consumer protection will benefit from this disintermediation.

langue originaleFrançais
Pages (de - à)44-55
Nombre de pages12
journalIDP, Revista de Internet, Derecho y Política
Numéro de publication28
Les DOIs
Etat de la publicationPublié - 2019

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