Algorithmic Price Discrimination and Consumer Protection. A Digital Arms Race?

Technology and Regulation (2022), Special Issue: Should Data Drive Private Law?, pp. 36-47

12 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2022

See all articles by Mateusz Grochowski

Mateusz Grochowski

Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law; Yale Law School - Information Society Project

Agnieszka Jabłonowska

Leiden University - Leiden Law School

Francesca Lagioia

European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW); University of Bologna - Research Center of History of Law, Philosophy and Sociology of Law, and Computer Science and Law (CIRSFID)

Giovanni Sartor

European University Institute Law Department

Date Written: April 13, 2022

Abstract

Online market players are gradually gaining the capacity to adapt prices dynamically based on knowledge generated through vast amounts of data, so that, theoretically, every individual consumer can be charged the maximum price he or she is willing to pay. This has downsides for markets and society. European Union law insufficiently addresses these issues. Consumer-empowering technologies may help counter algortihmic price discruimination. We advocate for regulation to make the arms race between conumers and sellers more balanced by strengthening the digital tools available to consumer protection actors and to limit the battlefield by clarifying and refining the applicable rules and defining clearer categories of impermissible behaviours.

Keywords: algorithms, consumers, discrimination, personalisation, price

JEL Classification: K12, K19

Suggested Citation

Grochowski, Mateusz and Jabłonowska, Agnieszka and Lagioia, Francesca and Sartor, Giovanni, Algorithmic Price Discrimination and Consumer Protection. A Digital Arms Race? (April 13, 2022). Technology and Regulation (2022), Special Issue: Should Data Drive Private Law?, pp. 36-47, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4083005

Mateusz Grochowski (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law ( email )

Mittelweg 187
Hamburg, D-20148
Germany

Yale Law School - Information Society Project ( email )

127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://law.yale.edu/mateusz-grochowski

Agnieszka Jabłonowska

Leiden University - Leiden Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 9520
2300 RA Leiden, NL-2300RA
Netherlands

Francesca Lagioia

European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW) ( email )

Via Bolognese 156 (Villa Salviati)
50-139 Firenze
Italy

University of Bologna - Research Center of History of Law, Philosophy and Sociology of Law, and Computer Science and Law (CIRSFID) ( email )

Via Galliera 3
I-40121 Bologna
Italy

Giovanni Sartor

European University Institute Law Department ( email )

Via Bolognese 156 (Villa Salviati)
50-139 Firenze
ITALY

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