Pricing algorithms have been one of the hottest topics in the European competition law community in recent years. While the discussion is mostly focusing on long term scenarios, this article aims to meet a more modest, yet in our view highly practically relevant, objective: The assessment of potential EU competition law risks and the allocation of liability in topical scenarios of algorithmic collusion, in particular relating to outsourced algorithms. We identify and analyse three different scenarios in which outsourced algorithms may violate EU competition law. The analysis shows that that the key element distinguishing the three scenarios is the authorship over the decision to use the pricing algorithm in an anticompetitive way. This differentiation is also crucial for determining the liability of the software user and/or the software developer.
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