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From the Discussion Draft of a Directive on Online Intermediary Platforms to ELI Model Rules on Online Platforms

19-20 January 2017, Cracow

Organisers: Christoph Busch, Gerhard Dannemann, Hans Schulte – Nölke, Aneta Wiewiórowska – Domagalska, Fryderyk Zoll

The digital economy is increasingly shaped by online platforms serving as marketplaces where customers can buy goods or book services (eg Airbnb, Uber, Amazon Marketplace). The existing regulatory framework at EU level of seems to be rather outdated with respect to the dynamics caused by the rise of online intermediary platforms.

Recently the “Research Group on the Law of Digital Services” has presented a Discussion Draft of a Directive on Online Intermediary Platforms. Moreover, the European Law Institute (ELI) has set up a project to elaborate Model Rules on Online Intermediary Platforms.

The purpose of the conference to kick off the works of the ELI project group by analysing the need for adjusting EU (consumer) contract law, private international law, data protection law and IP law with a view to the platform economy. The Discussion Draft of a Directive on Online Intermediary Platforms will form a starting point. Based on the analysis, a working plan for drafting the ELI model rules will be elaborated. Key issues are the duties and obligations of the platform operator and making it clear under which conditions the platform operator is liable for a non-performance by the supplier. Moreover, the basic requirements for transparency and fairness of online reputation systems (e.g. ratings and reviews) will be considered.

The conference is organised for the European Law Institute by the Jagiellonian University together with the University of Osnabrück as a part of the project “Made in Europe – European Legal Standards of Quality for Services on the Global Competitive Market” and is co-funded from funds of the Polish National Centre of Science
(Project No.UMO-2012/04/A/HS5/00709).

Program

 

 

► Conference on Platform Services in the Digital Single Market,
19-20. November 2015

The digital economy is increasingly shaped by platforms serving as modern marketplaces where customers can buy goods or book services. In their terms and conditions, platform services usually emphasise their intermediary role as mere booking agencies or brokers. Tested against the rules of interpretation or provisions on unfair terms in – at least some – EU member states, such terms and conditions may be invalid with the consequence that the platform itself is considered as the seller or service provider of the booked service.

The conference will elaborate criteria for the assessment whether a platform is just an intermediary or a party to a sale or service contract concluded on a platform. The focus will be on platforms as intermediaries. The conference will analyse what the rights and obligations of the sellers or service providers are in relation to the intermediary platform. Moreover, it will analyse to what extent the terms and conditions set by the platform ‘remote control’ the content of the contract between the seller or service provider and the customer concluded via the platform.

On the basis of this analysis, the conference will discuss whether there is need for action of the EU in areas such as contract law, private international law, data protection, IP law in order to facilitate the internal market or to close gaps of consumer and customer protection.

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