The impact of the Internet-based sharing of goods between individuals on sustainable development is ambivalent. The great economic and environmental potential of more intensive use of resources is offset by unwanted side effects of peer-to-peer sharing on fair competition, consumer protection and user privacy. Given the special features of regulating digital platforms, there is a need for a smart regulatory framework to maximize the use of the existing sustainability potential of private sharing. This research report discusses the advantages and disadvantages of different regulation approaches that differ in terms of their depth of intervention when regulating specific problem areas and shows their limits for the sustainable governance of peer-to-peer sharing. It concludes that while alternative regulatory approaches such as self-regulation and co-regulation have potential to enhance the sustainability potential of Internet-based sharing, they still rely on a regulatory framework to fully exploit this potential. Drawing on this insight, the report identifies innovative regulatory approaches and describes what a holistic governance framework promoting the positive sustainability effects of Internet-based sharing could look like.
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