In 2020 the book ‘Onlineplatformen’ by Martien Schaub was published. The book (in Dutch) is about the legal aspects relevant for online transaction platforms. These are platforms where users can conclude contracts either with the platform or with other users. The book brings together a variety of legal topics, with a focus on online intermediary platforms. Amongst other things, the book addresses the legal classification of such platforms.
The question how an online platform must be classified is raised in multiple areas, for example the classification of Booking.com as an online travel intermediary, the classification of Deliveroo as an employer and the classification of Helpling as an intermediary for work. The classification boils down to identifying what the platform actually does and then determining whether this fits within the relevant legal definitions that were written in a time that these online platforms did not exist.
The book was well timed. The classification issue regarding Booking.com is now being considered by the Supreme Court of the Netherlands. The Advocate General quotes extensively from the book and adopts its conclusions.