Outsmarting the gig-economy through collective bargaining – EU competition law as a barrier to smart cities?

Dagmar Schiek, Andrea Gideon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

317 Downloads (Pure)


In August 2016, drivers delivering meals in London after being booked via the platforms ‘deliveroo’ and ‘UberEATS’ made headlines by challenging working practices in the gig-economy through collective in-dustrial action. Dissatisfaction resulted from extremely low levels of pay as well as a new payment cal-culation system being introduced without consultation. This indicates that the ‘gig-economy’ may not always constitute the smartest solution for those serving within it. However, it also highlights that collective industrial action is far from structurally impossible for workers in the ‘gig-economy’, even though management of labour relies on anonymous and automated micro-management through internet plat-forms and apps. Indeed, collective organisation may seem the smartest solution for upgrading the gig-economy for its workers. This article develops an original contribution to the interface of smart technology in the gig-economy, collective labour rights, and EU competition law. We identify that EU competition law as interpreted by the Court of Justice would hinder collective organisation of those serving the gig-economy and develop a comprehensive re interpretation which allows adaptation of EU competition law to smart employment markets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-294
JournalInternational Review of Law, Computers And Technology
Issue number2-3
Early online date10 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 02 Sep 2018
Event24th International Conference of Europeanists: Council of European Studies - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Jul 201714 Jul 2017


  • EU competition law
  • Gig-economy
  • collective bargaining
  • collective labour rights
  • self-employed workers

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Outsmarting the gig-economy through collective bargaining – EU competition law as a barrier to smart cities?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this