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New Rules for Disputes Involving Online Marketplaces and Individuals

ABA: “The American Arbitration Association has established a new procedure for disputes involving online marketplaces and platforms versus individual users and subscribers…Millions of consumer purchases take place each year. During the pandemic, an increasing number of these transactions have been occurring online. A number of widely used online marketplaces or platforms, such as Airbnb and Expedia (VRBO), include an arbitration clause in their terms of service that references the American Arbitration Association’s (AAA) Consumer Arbitration Rules and mentions fee shifting and/or reimbursement for fees. The Consumer Arbitration Rules apply when a dispute arises between a business and individual consumers and the terms and conditions of the purchase of consumable goods and services are standardized and primarily non-negotiable. Examples of contracts that typically meet the criteria for application of the Consumer Rules include credit card agreements, leases, car loans, etc. AAA has the discretion to apply or not to apply the Consumer Arbitration Rules, subject to a final determination by the arbitrator…”

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