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The Platform Economy

Unravelling the Legal Status of Online Intermediaries

Book | 1st edition 2019 | Europe | Bram Devolder

This book is for anyone interested in keeping an eye on the legal developments associated with the “platform economy”. The clarity of writing offers an easy and enjoyable read on ostensibly technical subjects (employment law, social security law, taxation, and contract). The book achieves a good balance between descriptive content and expert analysis on the topic at hand, making it accessible law from law students to policy-makers or practitioners.”- - Dr Mathilde Davis, IPKat Blog, 2019

On 20 December 2017 and 10 April 2018 respectively, the Court of Justice of the European Union passed two landmark cases on the legal status of internet platform Uber. The Court established that Uber does not merely provide an app, but rather offers a full transport service. Without Uber there would be no market for non-professional drivers using their own vehicles. Moreover, the platform exercises a decisive influence over the conditions under which drivers provide their service.

These rulings address the very core of several highly debated questions on the legal status of online intermediaries such as Uber, Airbnb and TaskRabbit. Is regulatory intervention needed to reap the potential benefits of the platform economy or to mitigate the potentially negative consequences of regulatory disruption? Can platforms be held liable for the proper execution of services provided by others? Does existing national regulation impose disproportionate market restrictions on innovators? Should we rethink labour protection and social security to address the potential loss of social protection of non-standard workers? How can revenue law be improved to tackle elaborate (international) schemes to avoid direct and indirect taxation?

Emerging platforms claim to create new market opportunities and to provide innovative solutions to improve social welfare. Conversely, the platform economy blurs established lines between traditional legal categories, such as business and consumer, personal and professional, and worker and contractor. Traditional regulation, which often focuses on balancing the interests of two contracting parties, is now confronted with the three-sided contractual relationship between a platform, a supplier and a user.

In this book, a panel of international legal experts unravel the legal status of online intermediaries – a thorny knot that legislators, judges and lawyers across the globe are facing.

Digital version available on :

  • Strada lex Belgium
  • Strada lex Europa

You have a subscription? Activate the digital version for free with the code in the book.

Technical info
More Information
Type of product Book
Format Hardback
EAN / ISSN 9781780686349 / 9781780687971
Weight 825 g
Status Available
Number of pages xxii + 398 p.
Access to exercice No
Publisher Intersentia
Language English
Publication Date Jan 23, 2019
Available on Jurisquare Yes
Available on Strada Belgique Yes
Available on Strada Europe Yes
Available on Strada Luxembourg No


  • Table of contents and preliminary pages
  • Part I. Key Legal Issues: Regulatory Disruption and Regulatory Opportunities
  • Chapter 1. Digital Platforms: To Regulate or Not to Regulate?
  • Chapter 2. Contractual Liability of the Platform
  • Chapter 3. Law Evasion in the Platform Economy: The Uber Case
  • Chapter 4. Regulating the Sharing Economy in China: A National Report
  • Part II. Platforms and EU Law: Where Are We Now and What Lies Ahead?
  • Chapter 1. Competition Law in the Peer-to-Peer Economy
  • Chapter 2. Draft Model Rules on Online Intermediary Platforms
  • Part III. Platforms and Social Law: Rethinking Labour Protection and Social Security to Address Non-Standard Work?
  • Chapter 1. The Court of Justice of the EU, Uber and Labout Protection: A Labour Lawyers' Approach
  • Chapter 2. Social Protection of Non-Standard Workers: The Case of Platform Work
  • Chapter 3. Social Security and the Platform Economy in Belgium: Dilemma and Paradox
  • Chapter 4. And What About the Gig Worker?
  • Part IV. Platforms and Revenue Law: Pushing the Boundaries of Direct and Indirect Taxation?
  • Chapter 1. International Corporate Taxation of Digital Platforms
  • Chapter 2. Collecting Value Added Tax in the Platform Economy: Overview of the Fundamental Issues and Recent EU 2018 Developments
  • Chapter 3. Uber's Approach to Value Added Tax: Testing the Limits of the European VAT Legislation