Opblomstringen af digitale arbejdsplatforme: Muligheder og udfordringer i et rets- og kontraktøkonomisk perspektiv

Simone Bille & William Vegenfeldt

Student thesis: Master thesis


The development of the collaborative economy is proved to generate large revenues within the European market and is expected to contribute with a large amount of transactions and revenues in the future. In this paper the focus is on digital platforms that enables business and on-demand support with high-academically skills too meet through the platform. The fast pace of the developing concept however seems to challenge existing economic theories, regulation and legal concepts. Remedies provided as efficient solutions to mitigate asymmetry and conflict of interest according to the Principal/Agent theory is not found to embrace the key concepts behind the digital platforms. The rating system is found to challenge the classic remedies suggested by the Principal/Agent theory and to reduce asymmetry and conflict of interest in an efficient way. Despite the positive implication behind the disruptive concepts of the platforms, it is identified that new challenges might appear. Network effects are identified as important mechanism for the platform to thrive, but also as a threat to the efficiency of the market for platforms. Furthermore, the legal status of the parties evolved in the digital platforms is elucidated with regard to its status as contract party in terms of employment status, its role as an intermediary and its role as a contractual party as the main service provider. Due to the lack of regulation and jurisprudence, the legal position is left with uncertainty, in which soft law and case-by-case approach are used to clarify the legal position of digital platforms. The case-by-case approach is illustrated in order to elucidate the demanding approach of clarifying the legal status of the digital platform. Since every aspects of the concept must be taken into consideration of the assessment, many platforms stands beforehand a comprehensive self-made analyse without clear guidelines. Moreover existing EU regulation is investigated in order to figure out to what extend the digital platforms are subject to this regulation. The lack of consensus in definitions and scope of regulation seem to leave the parties in a wait-and-see position and in the risk of being subject to intrusive approaches in the future in terms of rulings and restrictive legislation. It is found that the lack of transparent legal guidelines leaves room for the platforms to define themselves, often as merely intermediaries and that self-definitions together with the lack of applicable regulation can lead to inefficient and not legal outcomes in a market subject to strong negative network effects.

EducationsMSc in Commercial Law, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages119
SupervisorsKim Østergaard