1st Edition

Consumer Protection and Online Auction Platforms Towards a Safer Legal Framework

By Christine Riefa Copyright 2015
    280 Pages
    by Routledge

    276 Pages
    by Routledge

    Online auctions have undergone many transformations and continue to attract millions of customers worldwide. However these popular platforms remain understudied by legal scholars and misunderstood by legislators. This book explores the legal classification of online auction sites across a range of countries in Europe. Including empirical studies conducted on 28 online auction websites in the UK, the research focusses on the protection of consumers’ economic rights and highlights the shortcomings that the law struggles to control. With examinations into important developments, including the Consumer Rights Directive and the latest case law from the CJEU on the liability of intermediaries, Riefa anticipates changes in the law, and points out further changes that are needed to create a safe legal environment for consumers, whilst preserving the varied business model adopted by online auction sites. The study provides insights into how technical measures as well as a tighter legislative framework or enforcement pattern could provide consumers with better protection, in turn reinforcing trust, and ultimately benefiting the online auction platforms themselves.

    Contents: Preface; Introduction; The legal classification of online auctions; The control of pre-contractual information in online auctions; The right to withdraw from online auctions; The control of unfair terms in online auction contracts; Private redress and public enforcement on online auction platforms; The liability of intermediary online auction sites; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.


    Christine Riefa is a Senior Lecturer in Law at Brunel University. Her research interests are in the areas of Internet Law and Consumer Law. She has published widely on these and related topics. She is a board member of the International Association of Consumer Law, a Fulbright alumni and was awarded a scholarship of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law for the year 2015.

    ’This book identifies an important gap in the academic literature and provides a rigorous examination on law applicable to online auctions. Christine Riefa pulls no punches in this invaluable book; her empirical research gives credibility to her findings.’ Pablo Cortés, University of Leicester, UK ’This book offers a comprehensive survey of the most important developments in online auctions. This is an ambitious book containing valuable analysis of contract formation, consumer redress, unfair contract terms, and intermediary liability. Dr Riefa has managed to cover these topics in an informative and detailed manner. A must-have for IT lawyers.’ Andres Guadamuz, University of Sussex, UK ’This book provides a thorough and detailed exploration of the legal protection of consumers using online auction platforms. The research and analysis is impressive in its scope and is underpinned by empirical surveys of 28 UK online auction sites. The book covers significant EU developments, but its analysis and recommendations are relevant to all jurisdictions aiming to develop a legal regime for the regulation of online auctions.’ Kate Tokeley, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand ’This book presents an exhaustive overview of serious legal problems relating to one of the major e-commerce trading forms - online auctions - with a special focus on consumer protection rights, taking into account recent developments at the European level. It is one of those rare books which really provides an in-depth comparison of different jurisdictions and their approaches. Control of contract clauses and liability issues are excellently discussed.’ Gerald Spindler, University of Goettingen, Germany