Romanian Competition Council announces study on the effects of sharing economy business models

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Authors: Georgeta Dinu, Anca Pascu, Alexandru Șotropa

The rapid evolution of the business environment driven by the growing interest for initiatives such as Airbnb and Uber, which disrupted traditional business models, draws the attention of competition authorities throughout the European Union. The Romanian Competition Council makes no exception.

After having earlier this year, when public authorities tried to tackle innovative business models through certain legislative changes, shared its views, indicating how competition could be enhanced, the competition authority now decided to conduct a study on the effects of sharing economy business models on the competitive environment in Romania.

Sharing economy business models are characterized by the shared usage of resources or by the innovative manner in which online platforms allow the access of consumers to a wide range of products and services.

The authority aims at analyzing the structure of prices, the behavior of market participants and their influence on price, quality and other variables of the market. In terms of practical outcome, the Competition Council could issue clarifications or propose amendments of the regulations in order to eliminate competitive barriers and enhance the economic efficiency of the sector. Since most of the challenges put forward by these business models have not been addressed before and the legislative framework is not adapted to the evolutions of the business environment, any input from companies that rely on such business models or are confronted with them might be crucial for the authority in understanding the mechanics behind them. In this way, the competition authority would be able to make recommendations to enhance competition or to take measures to correct any market dysfunctions while also bearing in mind the input from interested actors.

It can be expected that the results of the study would shape future businesses/ future legislation in Romania – therefore, any interested parties should actively react to the Competition Council inviting any interested parties to send their opinions on the topic.

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