Personalized Prices in European Competition Law

24 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2017

See all articles by Mariateresa Maggiolino

Mariateresa Maggiolino

Bocconi University - Department of Legal Studies; Ask Research Center

Date Written: June 12, 2017


The advent of big data analysis techniques make personalized prices possible. This paper sketches a preliminary picture of this new phenomenon, first explaining how personalized prices flow from big data analysis, how personalized prices fit into the economic notion of price discrimination, how buyers perceive them, and how they affect consumer and social welfare. Then, seeking to square this new phenomenon with the existing legal framework, the article turns to the antitrust and contractual matters relevant to the quantum of personalized prices, as well as the unfair competition and privacy matters linked to the process whereby these prices are calculated and charged to consumers. The paper concludes that while personalized prices may give rise to some privacy concerns, from an antitrust perspective they very rarely harm the good functioning of the market insofar as it concerns variations in consumer welfare.

Keywords: personalized prices, discrimination, antitrust, personal data, fairness

JEL Classification: K21, K29

Suggested Citation

Maggiolino, Mariateresa, Personalized Prices in European Competition Law (June 12, 2017). Bocconi Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2984840, Available at SSRN: or

Mariateresa Maggiolino (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - Department of Legal Studies ( email )

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Milan, Milan 20136

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