Colloquium: Regulating the Platform Economy

September 28
Regulating the Platform Economy

Professor Derek McKee

Université de Sherbrooke

Professor McKee will examine the legal and policy debates surrounding online peer-to-peer platforms for rentals and services, focusing on Airbnb and Uber. Although such platforms have contravened the law in many jurisdictions, they remain extremely popular and have called into question a great deal of government regulation. This presentation will attempt to explain the platforms’ appeal. It argues that the platforms have succeeded, to the extent that they have, by invoking liberal ideas about markets and private economic ordering: notably, that such ordering is natural, neutral, consensual, and efficient. The platforms have bolstered these arguments through their identification with the family and with technology. Moreover, all of these arguments operate on two levels. The platforms are described not only as private economic actors participating in markets, but also as providers of technological-normative infrastructure for new markets. Although the platforms have achieved rhetorical and commercial success by exploiting these ambiguities, a careful analysis of the various lines of argument reveals that the claims made on behalf of the platforms are vulnerable to critique.”

Cette présentation sera en français et anglais.

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This content has been updated on 26 September 2016 at 9 h 43 min.