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Regulating the P2P economy 2015-179.1

18 December 2015



Rapid refinement of e-commerce tools, mass expansion of social networking and widespread uptake of internet-enabled mobile devices have spurred the emergence of a large-scale, global ‘peer-to-peer (P2P) economy’. From renting driveways across the city to crowdfunding community projects across the world, the possibilities are near endless. The ‘P2P economy’ – often used interchangeably with terms such as the ‘sharing economy’ or the ‘collaborative economy’ – refers to the direct trade, exchange, gifting, loaning or leasing of goods and services between users via digital platforms. However, the many anticipated and realised benefits can come with unintended consequences, costs and drawbacks. Governments around Australia and the world have had to wrestle with a complex set of emerging issues involving public safety, consumer protection, workers’ rights, privacy and competition, amongst others. Leading P2P companies also typically have considerable resources to influence regulatory efforts and public debate.

This case is the first part of ANZSOG’s Regulating the P2P Economy series. It is intended as a ‘backgrounder’ outlining key aspects of the P2P sector, significant areas of concern and some of the challenges facing regulators. Instructors can use this case in various ways. It can be used as a standalone primer on key public policy issues being generated by the expansion of the P2P economy. It can also be used as preparatory reading for students, especially those not overly familiar with P2P platforms, and then paired with one or more of the company examples in the series (Uber, Airbnb, Seeking Arrangement) to illustrate and expand on specific issues. Or, alternatively, instructors can pair the case with an organisation or situation of their own.

Authors: Marinella Padula
Published Date: 18 December 2015
Author Institution: ANZSOG
Content Length: 7
Product Type: Part A, Primary resources