Christopher L. Peterson

Volume 90.2
Coercive Rideshare Practices: At the Intersection of Antitrust and Consumer Protection Law in the Gig Economy
Christopher L. Peterson
John J. Flynn Endowed Professor of Law, University of Utah.
Marshall Steinbaum
Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Utah.

The authors thank David Seligman, Rachel Dempsey, Sandeep Vaheesan, Brian Callaci, Sanjukta Paul, James Brandt, Steve Salop, Laura Alexander, Leonard Sherman, and other collaborators who provided helpful comments on earlier publications and drafts, as well as the organizers and participants in the University of Chicago Law Review Symposium “Law and Labor Market Power.” Steinbaum consulted for Towards Justice during its rideshare antitrust investigation while this Article was in preparation.

This Essay considers antitrust and consumer protection liability for coercive practices vis-à-vis drivers that are prevalent in the rideshare industry. Resale price maintenance, nonlinear pay practices, withholding data, and conditioning data access on maintaining a minimum acceptance rate all curtail platform competition, sustaining a high-price, tacitly collusive equilibrium among the few incumbents.