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Panel Experts Predict Future of Sharing Economy in FTC Workshop [QUOTES]

June 10th, 2015 · No Comments · Economy

by Kristy Welsh

(Last Updated On: February 26, 2018)

Panel Experts Predict Future of Sharing Economy in FTC Workshop [QUOTES]

If you want a feel for the future of the sharing economy, you’d be hard-pressed to assemble a more relevant group of experts than the FTC gathered yesterday for its panel discussion, “The Interplay between Competition, Consumer Protection, and Regulation: Business and Regulatory Views.”

It was far more engaging than the title suggests, featuring reps from Uber, Airbnb, the National League of Cities, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, and the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.

On Competition

“We welcome competition. We are, by nature, a competitive industry, that continues to innovate and drive economic growth and jobs. But a successful, competitive market means that everyone plays by the same rules. And new entrants into the market, like Airbnb and others, that are transacting business and impacting people each day need to respect the rules of the road…. These platforms might have started as Mom and Pops, individuals occasionally renting out their room to make some extra money, but that’s not where the growth is today. The New York Attorney General’s report cites that 6 percent of these hosts make about 40 percent of the revenue.” ~Vanessa Sinders, Senior Vice President and Head of Government Affairs, American Hotel and Lodging Association

On Data Sharing

Numbers that are thrown around like this – the 6 percent, the 40 percent, the 72 percent illegal – they’re all wrong. But we can’t prove it unless we share our data, so I think we’ll have to continuously do that.” ~David Hantman, Head of Global Public Policy, Airbnb

On Regulation

Most people agree that home sharing should be legal. Most people understand there’s a difference between people doing this once in a while in their own home and doing it as a business. Government after government after government is making is making these distinctions and will to continue to do so.” ~David Hantman, Head of Global Public Policy, Airbnb

What’s going to happen is we’ll have new legislation that emerges that applies the same standards to everybody, whether it’s background checks or insurance. It’s going to be the same for taxis, limos, TNCs [transportation network companies].” ~Matthew Daus, Partner, Windels, Marx, Lane & Mittendorf, LLP; former Chairman, New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission

“It’s fundamentally a question about whether these workers should be considered contract workers, as they are now, full-time employees, or perhaps some hybrid model. While this has important implications for cities, I do believe that the federal government will need to play a role in this regard.… On the home sharing side, I think we will see new types of zoning classifications proliferate.” ~Brooks Rainwater, Director, City Solutions and Applied Research Center, National League of Cities

On Technology

There’s not going to be a meter anymore…. Meters are going to be iPads in the back of all vehicles that go into the cloud and you’re going to be able to monitor the meter like you do now, on your smart phone app…. There’s going to be more integration between mass transit and private transportation. Apps are already out there connecting Ubers and taxis and limos to mass transit.” ~Matthew Daus, Partner, Windels, Marx, Lane & Mittendorf, LLP; former Chairman, New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission

On Quality of Life

There has to be this portfolio of options that gets people comfortable enough to say, I don’t need a private car anymore. I have the option of mass transit, which has to be at the center of all this, and taxis, and bike sharing, and walkable streets. So that I feel comfortable not taking the car out today, or not having a second car, or not having a first car.” ~Ashwini Chhabra, Head of Policy Development, Uber Technologies

People are moving away from ownership into experience. They want to go where they want to go. They want to experience the world in new ways. They don’t care as much whether they own a home, stay in the same place, own a car. They want to do things differently and the sharing economy is letting them.” ~David Hantman, Head of Global Public Policy, Airbnb

This was one of four panels in the June 9th FTC workshop, “The Sharing Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators.”

Share your own thoughts with the FTC (comments due by August 4, 2015).

Learn more about the sharing economy.

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