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“To be or not to be an auctioneer?” some thoughts on the legal nature of online “eBay” auctions and the protection of consumers

Riefa, C. (2008) “To be or not to be an auctioneer?” some thoughts on the legal nature of online “eBay” auctions and the protection of consumers. Journal of Consumer Policy, 31 (2). pp. 167-194. ISSN 1573-0700

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s10603-007-9063-0

Abstract/Summary

This paper discusses the legal classification of online “eBay” auctions. The discussion has key implications on the scope of consumer protection law as sale by auctions are, for example, excluded from the scope of the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000. The paper uncovers that online “eBay” auctions cannot always be considered as traditional auctions and that eBay, as an intermediary, is not to be considered as an auctioneer. This creates difficulties associated with a distributive application of consumer protection laws such as the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000. Another set of difficulties is associated with a lenient legal regime applicable to the liability of eBay under the Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002. The paper concludes that there is an urgent need to clarify the legal classification of online auctions and to rethink the liability of online auction sites to better protect consumers.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Law
ID Code:105381
Publisher:Springer Netherlands

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