Searching for a Definition of the Collaborative Economy in the European Union

  • Marco Inglese


This chapter introduces the main actors involved in typical, triangular collaborative economy transactions: an online platform, a service provider and a user/consumer (otherwise known as a ‘prosumer’). It then focuses on the concept of remuneration, thereby stressing—congruently with the scope and aim of the book—that, in light of the consolidated case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) regarding internal market freedoms, only gainful economic activities are considered relevant for the purposes of the collaborative economy in the European Union (EU) legal order. However, gathering and exploiting personal data, through so-called ‘freemium’ mechanisms, represent forms of sui generis remuneration, worthy of specific attention. The chapter concludes by exploring the applicability of the Information Society Services Directive and the Database Directive. Finally, this chapter presents a first appraisal of the most recent case law of the CJEU in the so-called Uber saga as well as initiates a discussion on the opinion of Advocate General Szpunar in the Airbnb case.


Online platforms Service providers Users Remuneration Information society services directive and e-commerce directive 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

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

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