International Journal of Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Law 2023

LIABILITY OF ONLINE PLATFORMS IN TOURISM SECTOR Therefore, it is the duty of lawyers to draw attention to the need to regulate such platforms. The functioning of digital online platforms creates several diverse legal issues. Liability of involved actors is one of the most frequently discussed. Liability is a specific form of legal responsibility that is connected to the violation of a duty that the person held liable was obliged to comply with, or to the infringement of one’s rights. Obligations and duties may be imposed by the contract or may be derived from the law. Hand in hand with liability goes the social responsibility of the platform, which could manifest itself through the cooperation of the platform operator with the regulatory authorities. 6 2. ONLINE PLATFORM, ITS DEFINITION AND CLASSIFICATION CRITERIA Online platform creates a two-sided market, as it attracts and enters relationships with two groups of users. An example that is not exclusive to the digital world represents the media market, where advertisers on one side meet viewers, readers, and listeners on the other side. Online intermediary platforms also create a two- -sided market. Intermediaries like know that the more guests visit their website, the more likely it is that accomodation providers are to use their services and vice versa. Different types of two-sided markets can be distinguished. Most important for the analysis of two-sided market is the distinction between two-sided transactional and non-transactional markets. Two-sided non-transactional markets, such as most media markets (e.g. Tourism Review, travel and hospitality news portal), are characterized by the absence of a transaction between the two sides of the market and, even when an interaction is present, it is usually not observable, so it is not possible to set a per-transaction fee or per-interaction fee or a two-part tariff. Two-sided transaction markets, such as those providing intermediation services, are instead characterized by the presence and observability of a transaction between the two groups of platform users. Consequently, the platform is not only able to charge a price for joining the platform but also one for using it–i.e., it can ask for a two-part tariff. 7 6 Jurčová, 2018, p. 266. 7 Filistrucchi,Geradin, van Damme, and Affeldt, 2013, p.1-30.