Self-policing contractual practices of business-to business platforms – unilateral variation rights in platform-user agreements

This is the 4th webinar in the CEPRI webinar series on Platforms as Private Governance systems, focusing in particular on
On-line Market Places and Private Law Aspects’.

This talk focuses on variation rights. Platforms generally reserve themselves the right to vary the content of the agreement with their customers (platform users). Typically, such variation rights are of general and unlimited nature, offering no other protection for platform users than their right to terminate the agreement with the platform. This self-policing of contractual obligations, which is a core part of the business model of most commercial digital platforms, challenges the fundamental conceptions of mutuality and reciprocity in contract law. This contribution investigates the self-policing contractual practices of business-to-business platforms. It considers whether basic rules and principles of contract law may offer platform users protection by amending or restricting the use of unilateral variation clauses in platform-user agreements.

Bio of Prof. Ole Hansen, CEPRI, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen

Ole Hansen is professor of private law with a special focus on contract law at the Law Faculty at the University of Copenhagen and co-founder of CEPRI. His doctorate work as on construction contract law. He has published extensively on contract law issues in both national and international law journals and is co-author of a text book on contract law. He has headed an externally funded,  collective research project entitled ‘Long term contracts  - flexibility and stability’ and is the editor of a resulting anthology on long term contracts. Most recently he has also published on supply chains and digital platforms as private governance systems.

Bio of Hamish Ritchie, CEPRI, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen

Hamish Ritchie is a research assistant in CEPRI at the Law Faculty at the University of Copenhagen. He holds an LLM from the faculty, in addition to an LLB from the University of Glasgow. Hamish’s research interests lie primarily in the fields of energy contracts, with a particular focus on market structures, the uptake of developing technologies and the private governance of essential services.

Registration: Please register here no later than 17 May, 13:30.

You will receive a Zoom link after you have registered.

More seminars:
This is the first and inaugural event of the CEPRI seminar series: Platforms as Private Governance Systems, SPRING/SUMMER 2021, See the  entire list of seminars here.