Evaluating the Risks of Increased Price Transparency
8 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2006
Courts and antitrust enforcers continue to grapple with the issue of when increased price transparency is good or bad for consumers. The state of the law on this antitrust issue has not been clear given several difficult issues, which the article briefly addresses. To help the courts and antitrust bar assess the antitrust risks of information exchanges, the article outlines two focal points: (1) the information's value in promoting efficiency in the marketplace, and (2) the likelihood that disseminating the information would facilitate tacit collusion. Using these two points, the article outlines three categories of antitrust risks: green light (low risk of antitrust liability); red light (high risk); and yellow light (medium risk). Given the fact-intensive inquiry and varying likelihood of pro- and anti-competitive effects from increased price transparency, there can be no bright-line rule for when increased price transparency would violate the antitrust laws. But the article's proposed three categories may help identify when courts and antitrust enforcers should have greater concern.
JEL Classification: K21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation