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Digital Business Lawyer

Algorithmic pricing - the new competition law frontier?

The last year has seen a surge in interest in artificial intelligence (‘AI’), especially algorithmic pricing, and what it means for antitrust law, with competition regulators such as the UK Competition and Markets Authority (‘CMA’) and EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager taking an interest in this area, typically as part of ongoing work in relation to the digital world more generally. The headline-grabbing concern here is the possibility that AI and pricing algorithms could collude in order to automatically fix prices. A number of regulators submitted their views on this issue to the OECD’s June 2017 roundtable on Algorithms and Collusion. In this article, Stephen Wisking and Molly Herron of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP consider the regulatory stances taken so far and take an indepth look at the views submitted by the European Commission to the OECD roundtable, with the EC position presenting some detail on the issues algorithmic pricing could cause for antitrust law.

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