This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

On June 9, the Federal Trade Commission will host a workshop to examine peer-to-peer businesses—collectively known as the “sharing economy” and starring travel-related platforms like Uber and AirBnb—and it wants to hear from you.


As a big fan of sharing economy businesses geared towards travelers, the’s government’s openness to consumer input gives me hope. A deeper dive into the agency’s announcement reveals that, far from declaring war on the sharing economy, the FTC seems to have adopted a, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” approach. They’d like to see how fitting these companies into existing regulations might help the economy solve pesky problems like transparency and communication between say, a vacation rental owner and a guest, or a driver and a passenger.

From the FTC’s announcement:

“Because buyers and sellers on many sharing platforms have little information about each other, mechanisms to promote confidence in transacting may be important to a platform’s success.”

One purpose of the June workshop, to be held in Washington, D.C., is for the Commission to utilize comments and questions from users like us to become better informed as companies like Uber, Lyft, VRBO, AirBnb, etc., attract more US market share and press in their respective industries. Because these companies allow for far more—and in many cases, better—choices for travel, I for one would like to see this discussion help steer any possible regulation in the direction of helping these platforms succeed and in turn, empower the consumer.

Are you a fan of sharing economy and peer-to-peer platforms like Uber and Airbnb? The FTC wants to hear from YOU.
Are you a fan of sharing economy and peer-to-peer platforms like Uber and Airbnb? The FTC wants to hear from YOU.

The FTC invites you to send your thoughts to them directly, specifically on certain topics like the economics, trust, consumer protection, and competition issues that have come to light in this golden age of peer-to-peer businesses.

Their questions include:

Economics: What are the advantages and disadvantages for consumers of engaging in transactions facilitated by a sharing platform; for example, convenience, diversity of offerings, additional sources of supply, safety, quality?

Trust: How susceptible are reputation systems to manipulation by marketers and other self-interested parties (e.g., using fake or paid-for reviews)? How can the design of reputation systems prevent or offset these manipulations?

Consumer protection: What responsibility does a sharing economy platform bear for consumer injury arising from transactions undertaken through the platform?

Make your voice heard! Send your questions and comments straight to the agency via the FTC’s public comment forum by May 25, 2015 for consideration for the workshop itself. Public commentary on the subject will be accepted through August 4.

What questions or comments do you have for the FTC about peer-to-peer businesses in the travel industry? What would you like to see regulated, and why? What would you like to see remain untouched by the government?

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.