“Change Regulations to Empower Consumers” – Spanish Competition Authority

Spain should embrace the sharing economy and introduce new regulations that empower consumers, according to a new report by the Spanish competition authority today on the sharing economy. The sharing economy boosts productivity and entrepreneurship, increases competition and consumer choice, and improves quality and efficiency through innovation, it says.

The report also says the economic impact of the sharing economy in Spain is significantly lower than other European countries; the UK is home to 10 percent of the global sharing economy – more than Germany, France and Spain combined – and the US is home to more sharing economy start-ups that anywhere else in the world. CNMC describes the situation in Spain as a ‘market failure’ that requires government intervention for the overriding public interest.

Today’s report comes from Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC) following a public consultation last year. It says the sharing economy was born out of the global economic crisis and allowed ancient human behaviours and idle resources to be utilised in the digital world. Today, the sharing economy is a rapidly growing phenomenon of increasing economic and social importance, which has great potential for development in the coming years.

CNMC concludes that the growth of the sharing economy is an opportunity for policymakers in Spain to introduce new, proportionate regulations that boost entrepreneurship, strengthen tax processes and empower consumers.

We agree and want to work together with policymakers in Spain on new rules that support middle class families and boost local economies. We want to provide them with the information they need to make smart decisions and work together on progressive regulations that are easy for regular people to follow, in line with the commitments in our Community Compact.

Two weeks ago, government officials in Catalonia announced they are working on new rules for regular people who share their homes. These rules would give ‘a special impetus’ to the local economy, they said. We are pleased Spain is recognising the transformative powers of the sharing economy and want to work together with everyone to harness its benefits for middle class families.

You can view the full report (in Spanish) from CNMC here.