When Sharing Platforms Fix Sellers’ Prices (21 December 2018)

Asian Institute of International Financial Law
Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong


When Sharing Platforms Fix Sellers’ Prices

Dr Julian Nowag
Faculty of Law, Lund University, Sweden

Friday, 21 December 2018
12:30 – 1:30 pm
Academic Conference Room, 11/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower
The University of Hong Kong

While price-fixing on platforms can attract severe enforcement action, as shown by the Amazon poster case, a more nuanced picture emerges regarding the fixing of prices for sellers by sharing economy platforms. This paper explores possible antitrust responses to such centralised platform-driven price-fixing. The paper, first, provides an introduction to the sharing economy and pricing models on such platforms. Then, it investigates the extent to which established case law and frameworks applied in competition law fit with the incentive structure and the operation of such platforms. In the final section, the paper highlights key questions from a competition law and from a policy perspective. It highlights how such practices defy traditional antitrust thinking and give rise to new policy and legal challenges.

Dr Julian Nowag is Associate Professor in EU law at Lund University specialized in competition law and the Director of the Master programme in European Business Law. He is also an Associate at the Oxford Centre for Competition Law and Policy where he is on the editorial board of The Journal for Antitrust Enforcement as Managing Editor. Julian earned a Master’s degree (MSt) and a Doctorate (DPhil) from the University of Oxford. He also completed an LLM in European Legal Studies at Durham University and undergraduate law studies in Germany and Austria. He teaches courses on competition and various areas of EU law. Julian is a qualified lawyer in Germany. His professional training focused on competition law with placements at the German Competition Authority’s international co-operation unit, the European Commission (DG Comp, cartels unit) and Allen & Overy’s German Antitrust unit in Hamburg. Luc Peeperkorn (Principal Advisor Antitrust Policy European Commission) described his recent OUP book entitled ‘Environmental Integration in Competition and Free-Movement Laws’ as an ‘intelligent and profound operationalisation of the obligation to integrate environmental concerns in EU competition law without undermining the effective enforcement of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU. A must read for all those active and interested in this field.’ His current research focuses on the interaction between EU constitutional arrangements and economic aspects of competition and internal market law as well as globally relevant aspects of competition law enforcement.