ON-TOPIC: ECONOMIC THEORY - PRICE DISCRIMINATION - ALGORITHMIC PRICING

Algorithmic pricing and competition

This On-Topic discusses the development of algorithmic pricing and the issues it raises for competition law enforcers. Algorithmic pricing may facilitate tacit or express collusion and even generate new forms of collusion against which traditional tools of competition law enforcement must be confronted. Likewise, pricing algorithms facilitate price personalization, hence discrimination among customers. While the economic effects of such a discrimination is ambiguous, it deserves an assessment in the light of the concepts of exclusionary or exploitative abuses. This On-Topic finally addresses the broader issue of behavioral discrimination implemented by super-platforms in view of increasing the likelihood of consumers opting for their offering.

L’algorithme au service de la politique tarifaire : Nouvelles pratiques, nouveaux risques? Michaël Cousin Associé, Ashurst, Paris I. Le rôle-clé des algorithmes dans la fixation des prix 1. La fixation des prix est un exercice complexe faisant intervenir de multiples paramètres comme les coûts de l’entreprise, le niveau des stocks, la valeur perçue par le consommateur et l’ensemble des conditions de marché. Deux éléments sont en train de révolutionner cet exercice : d’une part, les progrès du big data [1], qui permet aux entreprises de collecter et de traiter en temps réel un nombre quasi illimité de données (profil du consommateur, prix des concurrents, évolution de la demande, etc.) ; d’autre part, l’usage croissant des algorithmes [2] qui permettent, en fonction de ces données, d’ajuster

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Michaël Cousin, Etienne Pfister, Ariel Ezrachi, Olivier Sautel, Maurice Stucke, Cédric Nouel de Buzonnière, Algorithmic pricing and competition, November 2017, Concurrences Review N° 4-2017, Art. N° 84906, pp. 17-31

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