No. 74: Artificial Intelligence and Anticompetitive Collusion in EU and the U.S.: From the ‘Meeting of Minds’ towards the ‘Meeting of Algorithms’?


Publish Date:
February 8, 2021
Publication Title:
TTLF Working Papers
Stanford Law School
Working Paper
  • Giuseppe Colangelo, Artificial Intelligence and Anticompetitive Collusion in EU and the U.S.: From the 'Meeting of Minds' towards the 'Meeting of Algorithms'?, TTLF Working Papers No. 74, Stanford-Vienna Transatlantic Technology Law Forum (2021).
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Information technology has affected so many aspects of daily life that an algorithmic society is no longer the stuff of science fiction. When it comes to marketplaces and business strategies, it has been observed that a growing number of firms are using algorithms for dynamic pricing, 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 and the potential for collusion. Furthermore, some policy makers and scholars are questioning the ability of existing antitrust tools to tackle this new form of collusion effectively. Indeed, current EU and US 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 one strand of literature, algorithms could coordinate independently of human intervention and even autonomously learn to collude. Against this background, this paper aims to investigate whether current antitrust rules are suited to confronting these new challenges, whether algorithmic interactions (‘meeting of algorithms’) could be treated in a way similar to a ‘meeting of minds’, and whether new regulatory tools are needed.