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Nr. 18 / 2018

29. Januar 2018 : Consumer Law for Online Platforms - New research alliance between Osnabrück University and Hankuk University in Seoul

The rapid growth of online platforms such as Airbnb, Uber or Amazon has not only brought new challenges for existing business models. It has also triggered a debate on whether there is a need to adjust consumer law to the changing market structure of the ‘platform economy’. These questions are at the heart of a new joint research project started by Osnabrück University and Hankuk University in Seoul.

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© Universität Osnabrück / Utz Lederbogen

Prof. Dr. Christoph Busch (Osnabrück University) and Prof. Dr. Byung Jun Lee (Hankuk University) start with doctoral students a new project on consumer law for online platforms. Copyright: Osnabrück University/ Utz Lederbogen

A German-Korean research team will explore how to strike a balance between consumer protection, innovation and fair competition in the digital economy. “South Korea is far ahead in many areas of technological development. Also the debate on innovation-friendly regulation is very advanced. Therefore, the scientific exchange with Korean colleagues is very valuable from a German perspective”, explains Prof. Dr. Christoph Busch from the European Legal Studies Institute in Osnabrück.

Together with Prof. Dr. Byung Jun Lee, the Director of the Legal Research Institute at Hankuk University, the research team of Professor Busch will focus on three main topics: liability of online platforms, customer reviews and data protection. “The aim of our project is to analyse in how far innovative regulatory instruments used in Korean law can serve as a model for market regulation in Germany and the European Union. At the same time, we explore whether existing European rules for online platforms could be a source of inspiration for the Korean legislator,” says Professor Lee who already co-operates with legal researchers from Osnabrück University for two years.

The project is part of the recently established research cluster “Digital Society – Innovation – Regulation” at Osnabrück University. In the course of the project, which also involves young researchers, several conferences will be held in Osnabrück and Seoul. The project is financed by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the National Research Foundation of Korea. 

Further information for editors:
Prof. Dr. Christoph Busch, Maître en Droit, Osnabrück University,
European Legal Studies Institute,
Süsterstraße 28, 49074 Osnabrück,
Tel.: +49 541 969-6055,