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Tuesday, 06 June 2017 07:33

What is consumption 3.0?

New technologies and the Internet have fostered and implemented new consumption patterns in recent years. An alternative consumption that establishes the relationship between the one who offers a product and who needs a specific need, a model where it is allowed to lend, rent, buy or sell products based on specific needs and not so much for economic benefit, Known as collaborative economy.

Already in 2011 TIME magazine defined the phenomenon of collaborative economy as one of the ten ideas that would change the world, being to date many startups that have been born and grown under this new concept.

In this economic model services are considered as exchange goods centered on collaboration and mutual aid. The collaborative economy makes it possible to benefit both parties for the following reasons:

  1. SAVING. Most of the products or services offered through this system are cheap or even symbolic.
  2. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT. The collaborative economy stimulates the second use of products. What someone no longer needs, can have a new recipient in some network of contacts. Moderate consumption is advocated.
  3. RESOURCE MANAGEMENT. Another principle of collaborative economics is that if someone serves one thing, they most likely will someone else too. Why not share it? The best example are road cars, which can serve to carry several passengers with nearby destinations.
  4. HIGHER OFFER. Second-use products and shared services expand the supply of traditional markets. Without collaborative economics, they may never see the light.
  5. ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFIT. Reuse and shared services are a good way to contribute to the care and sustainability of environments.

Nowadays many of us know Airbnb or Uber, applications that make us easier the way to make transactions and offer the user the opportunity of a better service at a lower cost. It would also be in this category BlaBlacar, considering the Courts that do not make for profit or Wallapop, where they buy and sell second hand objects.

At another level, we place Uber and Cabify, models of consumption and provision of services intermediated by platforms, but where the activity that is generated is from "professional to consumer" incurring a profit and being therefore a commercial relationship .

The EU Attorney General has recently concluded that Uber is a transport company and that its drivers can be compelled by governments to exercise their activity by issuing licenses and authorizations comparable to those of taxi drivers, now the EU Court must rule and Decide whether we are actually a transport company, whose professional must comply with the rules of consumer law, discharge to social security and compliance with tax regulations, or it is an intermediation.

David Figueras, Managing Partner of SF Lawyers