Advertisement

Consumer Protection

  • Marco Inglese
Chapter

Abstract

Consumer protection is one of the core areas in which the collaborative economy is posing unprecedented challenges to national and supranational regulators. In a typical collaborative economy transaction, it is extremely difficult to correctly identify the intent and the personal characteristics of each party and, eventually, whether one of them is acting in a professional capacity. This, in turn, could undermine legal protection as well as legal certainty for all the parties involved. Chapter  4, thus, investigates whether the European Union consumer acquis is applicable in a collaborative economy triangular relation by exploring the possibilities offered by the Unfair Terms Directive, the Unfair Commercial Practice Directive, the Consumer Rights Directive and the e-Commerce Directive. These aspects will be linked to the concept of trust in an online environment to the extent that rate and review mechanisms—as self-regulatory tools directly adopted by online platforms—could be useful instruments to distinguish between a consumer and a trader/professional. In conclusion, Chap.  4 evaluates the brand-new New Deal for Consumers adopted by the European Commission to verify whether it would actually confer a more thorough form of protection in the collaborative economy.

Keywords

Online platforms Consumer protection Professional and Non-professional service providers Users and consumers Legal certainty 

References

  1. Adamski D (2018) Lost on the digital platforms: Europe’s legal travails with the digital single market. Common Market Law Rev 55(3):719–751Google Scholar
  2. Barral-Vinales I (2012) E-consumers and effective protection: the online dispute resolution system. In: Devenney J, Kenny M (eds) European Consumer Protection. Theory and practice. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 82–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berke D (2016) Products liability in the sharing economy. Yale J Regul 33(2):603–653Google Scholar
  4. Brownsword R (2017) The e-commerce directive, consumer transactions, and the digital single market – questions of regulatory fitness, regulatory disconnection and rule redirection. In: Grundmann S (ed) European Contract Law in the digital age. Intersentia, Cambridge, pp 165–204Google Scholar
  5. Busch C (2016) Crowdsourcing consumer confidence. How to regulate online rating and review systems in the collaborative economy. In: De Franceschi A (ed) European contract law and the digital single market. The implications of the digital revolution. Intersentia, Cambridge, pp 223–243Google Scholar
  6. Busch C, Schulte-Nölke H, Wiewiórowska-Domagalska A, Zoll F (2016) The rise of the platform economy: a new challenge for EU consumer law? J Eur Cosum Market Law 5(1):3–10Google Scholar
  7. Cortés P, Lodder AR (2014) Consumer dispute resolution goes online: reflections on the evolution of European law for out-of-court redress. Maastricht J Eur Comp Law 21(1):14–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dani M (2011) Assembling the fractured European consumer. Eur Law Rev 36(3):362–384Google Scholar
  9. Davies J, Szyszczak E (2010) ADR: effective protection of consumer rights? Eur Law Rev 35(5):695–707Google Scholar
  10. Garde A (2012) The unfair commercial practices directive. In: Syrpis P (ed) The judiciary, the legislature and the EU internal market. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 118–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hatzopoulos V (2018) The collaborative economy and EU law. Hart Publishing, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  12. Havu K (2017) The EU digital single market from a consumer standpoint: how do promises meet means? Contemp Read Law Soc Justice 9(2):146–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Heiderhoff B, Kenny M (2007) The Commission’s 2007 green paper on the consumer acquis: deliberate deliberation? Eur Law Rev 32(5):740–751Google Scholar
  14. Howells G, Wilhemson T (2003) EC consumer law: has it come of age? Eur Law Rev 28(3):370–388Google Scholar
  15. Hultmark Ramberg C (2001) The Ecommerce Directive and formation of contract in a comparative perspective. Eur Law Rev 26(5):429–450Google Scholar
  16. Illescas Ortiz R (2016) Share economy and the consumer concept. In: Schulze R, Staudenmayer D (eds) Digital revolution: challenges for contract law in practice. Nomos/Hart, Baden Baden, pp 111–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jääskinen N, Ward A (2016) The external reach of EU private law in the light of L’Oréal versus eBay and Google and Google Spain. In: Cremona M, Micklitz H-W (eds) Private law in the external relations of the EU. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 125–146Google Scholar
  18. Jacek Palka P (2017) Terms of service are not contracts – beyond contract law in the regulation of online platforms. In: Grundmann S (ed) European Contract law in the digital age. Intersentia, Cambridge, pp 135–161Google Scholar
  19. Kilbey I (2005) Consumer protection evaded via the Internet. Eur Law Rev 30(1):123–132Google Scholar
  20. Kindler P (2016) The law applicable to consumer contracts in the digital single market. In: De Franceschi A (ed) European Contract Law and the digital single market. The implications of the digital revolution. Intersentia, Cambridge, pp 173–186Google Scholar
  21. Lahe J, Turk K (2012) The web host’s privilege of limited liability: its application to operators of commentary rooms. Eur Rev Private Law 20(2):447–472Google Scholar
  22. Laughlin C (2017) Arbitration clause issues in sharing economy contracts. J Disput Resolut 1(1):197–217Google Scholar
  23. Lopez-Tarruella A (2001) A European Community regulatory framework for electronic commerce. Common Market Law Rev 38(6):1337–1384CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lupianez-Villanueva F, Gaskell G, Tornese P, Vila J, Gomez Y, Allen A, Veltri G, Codagnone C (2018) Behavioural study on the transparency of online platform. European Commission, BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  25. Luzak J (2016) The ADR directive: designed to fail? A hole-ridden stairway to consumer justice. Eur Rev Private Law 24(1):81–101Google Scholar
  26. Mak V (2009) Review of the consumer acquis: towards maximum harmonization? Eur Rev Private Law 17(1):55–73Google Scholar
  27. Maultzsch F (2018) Contractual liability of online platform operators: European proposals and established principles. Eur Rev Contract Law 14(3):209–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Meller-Hannich C (2016) Share economy and consumer protection. In: Schulze R, Staudenmayer D (eds) Digital revolution: challenges for contract law in practice. Nomos/Hart, Baden Baden, pp 119–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Micklitz HW, Reich N (2009) Cronica de una muerte anunciada: the Commission proposal for a directive on consumer rights. Common Market Law Rev 46(2):471–519Google Scholar
  30. Morais Carvalho J, Campos Carvalho J (2017) Online dispute resolution platform. Making European contract law more effective. In: De Franceschi A (ed) European Contract Law and the digital single market. The implications of the digital revolution. Intersentia, Cambridge, pp 245–263Google Scholar
  31. Nordhausen Scholes A (2012) Behavioural economics and the autonomous consumer. Camb Yearb Eur Legal Stud 14(1):297–324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (2016) Protecting consumers in peer platforms markets, exploring the issue. OECD Digital Economy Papers no. 253Google Scholar
  33. Pearce G, Platten N (2000) Promoting the information society: the EU directive on electronic commerce. Eur Law J 6(4):363–378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Quarta A (2017) Il diritto dei consumatori ai tempi della peer economy. Prestatori di servizi e prosumers: primi spunti. Europa e diritto privato 19(2):667–681Google Scholar
  35. Scheiwe Kulp H, Kool AL (2015) You help me, he helps you: dispute system design in the sharing economy. Wash Univ J Law Policy 48(1):179–230Google Scholar
  36. Schüller B (2012) The definition of consumer in EU consumer law. In: Devenney J, Kenny M (eds) European Consumer Protection. Theory and practice. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 123–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Seizov O, Wulf A, Luzak J (2018) The transparent trap: a multidisciplinary perspective on the design of transparent online disclosures in the EU. J Consum Policy 42:149–173. 1–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sibony AL (2014) Can EU consumer law benefit from behavioural insights? An analysis of the unfair commercial practice directive. Eur Rev Private Law 22(6):901–941Google Scholar
  39. Sibony AL, Helleringer G (2015) EU consumer protection and behavioural sciences: revolution or reform? In: Alemanno A, Sibony AL (eds) Nudge and the law. A European perspective. Hart Publishing, Portland, pp 209–233Google Scholar
  40. Sibony AL, Helleringer G (2017) EU consumer protection through the behavioral lens. Columbia J Eur Law 23(3):607–646Google Scholar
  41. Smorto G (2017) Critical assessment of European agenda for the collaborative economy. In-depth analysis for the IMCO Committee IP/A/IMCO/2016-10, PE 595.361Google Scholar
  42. Smorto G (2018) La tutela del contraente debole nella platform economy. Giornale di diritto del lavoro e delle relazioni industriali 158(2):423–443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Storskrubb E (2016) Alternative dispute resolution in the EU: regulatory challenges. Eur Rev Private Law 24(1):7–31Google Scholar
  44. Straetmans G, Cauffman C (2012) Legislatures, courts and the unfair terms directive. In: Syrpis P (ed) The Judiciary, The Legislature and The EU Internal Market. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 92–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Stuyck J (2000) European consumer law after the Treaty of Amsterdam: consumer policy in or beyond the internal market? Common Market Law Rev 37(2):367–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Stuyck J, Terryn E, Van Dyck T (2006) Confidence through fairness? The new directive on unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market. Common Market Law Rev 43(1):107–152Google Scholar
  47. Ter Huurne M, Ronteltap A, Corten R, Buslens V (2017) Antecedents of trust in the sharing economy: a systematic review. J Consum Behav 16(6):485–498CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Thommens K, Faure M, Heine K (2014) The internal market and the consumer: what consumers actually choose. Columbia J Eur Law 21(1):47–70Google Scholar
  49. Unberath H, Johnston A (2007) The double headed approach of the ECJ concerning consumer protection. Common Market Law Rev 44(5):1237–1284Google Scholar
  50. Verheyen T (2018) Full harmonization, consumer protection and product liability: a fresh reading of the case law of the ECJ. Eur Rev Private Law 26(1):119–140Google Scholar
  51. Waddington L (2013) Vulnerable and confused: the protection of ‘vulnerable’ consumers under EU law. Eur Law Rev 38(6):757–782Google Scholar
  52. Weatherill S (2011) Consumer policy. In: Craig P, De Burca G (eds) The evolution of EU law, 2nd edn. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 837–868Google Scholar
  53. Weatherill S (2012) The consumer right directive: how and why a quest for ‘coherence’ has largely failed. Common Market Law Rev 49(6):1279–1318Google Scholar
  54. Weatherill S (2014) Article 38 – consumer protection. In: Peers S, Hervey T, Kenner J, Ward A (eds) The EU charter of fundamental rights. A commentary. Hart Publishing, Portland, pp 1005–1026Google Scholar
  55. Willet C, Morgan-Taylor M (2012) Recognising the limits of transparency in EU consumer law. In: Devenney J, Kenny M (eds) European Consumer Protection. Theory and practice. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 143–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Inglese
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Law, Politics and International StudiesUniversity of ParmaParmaItaly

Personalised recommendations