Artificial Intelligence and Anticompetitive Collusion: From the ‘Meeting of Minds’ Towards the ‘Meeting of Algorithms’?

TTLF Stanford Law School Working Paper No. 74

Posted: 17 Feb 2021 Last revised: 11 Mar 2021

See all articles by Giuseppe Colangelo

Giuseppe Colangelo

University of Basilicata, Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Economics; Stanford Law School; LUISS Guido Carli, Department of Business and Management

Date Written: January 27, 2021

Abstract

Information technologies has affected so many aspects of daily life that algorithmic society is not considered science fiction anymore. When it comes to marketplaces and business strategies, it has been observed that a growing number of firms are using algorithms for dynamic price setting, thereby automatically adjusting their prices to changes in market conditions, including rivals’ prices. As a result, the diffusion of algorithmic pricing raises concerns for competition policy about the potential to enable collusion. Further, some policy makers and scholars are questioning the ability of existing antitrust tools to tackle effectively this new form of collusion. Indeed, current antitrust rules have been designed to deal with human facilitation of coordination requiring some form of mutual understanding among firms (‘meeting of the minds’). However, according to a strand of literature, algorithms could coordinate independently of human intervention and even autonomously learn to collude. Against this background, the paper aims at investigating whether current antitrust rules are suited to facing these new challenges, whether algorithmic interactions (‘meeting of algorithms’) could be treated similarly to a ‘meeting of minds’ or whether new regulatory tools are needed.

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence; Algorithms; Antitrust; Collusion

JEL Classification: D43; L13; L41

Suggested Citation

Colangelo, Giuseppe, Artificial Intelligence and Anticompetitive Collusion: From the ‘Meeting of Minds’ Towards the ‘Meeting of Algorithms’? (January 27, 2021). TTLF Stanford Law School Working Paper No. 74, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3751255 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3751255

Giuseppe Colangelo (Contact Author)

University of Basilicata, Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Economics ( email )

Via dell'Ateneo Lucano 10
Potenza
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/giuseppecolangelouni/home

Stanford Law School ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

HOME PAGE: http://law.stanford.edu/transatlantic-technology-law-forum/

LUISS Guido Carli, Department of Business and Management ( email )

Viale Romania 32
Rome, Roma 00197
Italy

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
200
PlumX Metrics