Bartering in the Information Age

The 21st Century is characterized by the shift from traditional industry to the technological revolution based on new information technology, but are we sure that we have completely forgotten our ancient and traditional behaviors?

Recently, a new common form of business is growing and seems to be catching-on in Italy. We are of course talking about online business, but more specifically,  the new trend of bartering in cyberspace.

The so called “Barter Deal” is an agreement achieved by and between two parties that agree on exchanging goods on an online platform, managed by an operator, responsible for the protection of the sensitive data provided by the parties, which may either be individuals or companies.

Doesn’t this type of agreement sound familiar? Yes, of course! The Italian legal framework is famous for its roots in Roman Law, indeed, Italy still maintains some features of this system and, more specifically, still provides the “Do ut Des” agreement, now precisely named “Barter Agreement”, which is defined under the Civil Code as a contract under which the parties agree to exchange goods or other rights between each other.

Distinct from the traditional version provided under the Italian Civil Code, the abovementioned Barter Deal allows international transactions amongst different Countries, in basic terms, ensuring that a company, registered on an online platform,  can find the raw materials or finished products, that it needs for its own business, providing in return other goods to another company that may be even registered in a different State.

Furthermore, it should be noted that the said exchange of goods doesn’t necessarily happen between the same two entities, meaning that, a company that provides goods to another, can also obtain what it needs from a third company. Thus, thanks to such online platforms and its operators, it is possible to create import and export chains, linking all entities (or individuals) around the world that have access to the same platform.

Considering the high potential and remunerative business that derive from this mechanism, Italy is adapting itself to the Information Technology revolution and therefore is very much open to this new type of Barter Deal, that, as you probably can well imagine, is far from being risk-free.

In the light of the above-mentioned information, D&P remains at your full disposal for assisting you in dealing with the potential risks hidden behind the Barter Deal of this new era.

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