Algorithms and fairness: What role for competition law in targeting price discrimination towards end consumers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

While algorithms bring about benefits for consumers in the form of more
efficient price setting, they have also resulted in concerns about possible
adverse effects, including discrimination. This Article takes a competition law
perspective to analyze a type of discrimination that the use of algorithms may
facilitate, namely personalized pricing. This is a form of price discrimination
between consumers whereby a firm charges each consumer a different price
depending on willingness to pay. As the advent of data analytics and
algorithm-based services has made it easier for firms to engage in price
discrimination, a clarification of the latter’s legality under competition law
is welcome. As such, this Article discusses the extent to which competition
enforcement can be desirable for targeting price discrimination towards end
consumers. In this regard, the interaction with other regimes such as data
protection, consumer protection, and antidiscrimination law, is also
considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-559
Number of pages19
JournalColumbia Journal of European Law
Volume24
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Price discrimination
  • Competition
  • Data Protection
  • Consumer Protection
  • Law and Economics

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