Michal Gal discusses the regulatory hurdles to deal with the impacts of algorithmic price collusion. In the meantime, she says, market fixes include algorithmic consumers and platform nudges to mitigate price coordination.
Axel Gautier, Ashwin Ittoo, and Pieter van Cleynenbreugel write that the practice of pricing algorithms tacitly colluding remains theoretical for now, and technological obstacles render it very unlikely in the short term. However, regulators must still prepare for a future in which artificial intelligence achieves the necessary sophistication to collude.
Oliver Budzinski and Victoriia Noskova discuss in their publication why merger simulations are not more widely used by competition authorities and in front of the courts to predict future effects of mergers despite advancements in availability of data, AI and computational power. The institutional setting is an essential factor for computational antitrust tools to be accepted and applied by competition authorities.
Maurice Stucke explains three policy approaches to algorithmic collusion and discrimination, and makes the case for a broader ecosystem approach that addresses not only the shortcomings of current antitrust law and merger review, but extends beyond them for a comprehensive policy response to the many risks associated with artificial intelligence.
Does investing in information technology (IT) enable firms to “scale without mass” and increase their market share? In a new paper, Erik Brynjolfsson, Wang Jin, and Xiupeng Wang examine how IT affects firm size, market concentration, and the labor share of revenue.
New research indicates that FinTech lending has not been as ‘disruptive’ in risk-based pricing as claimed. While FinTech has provided increased loan access to some individuals, reliance on traditional credit scoring and spillovers from banking regulations leads to mispricing and cross-subsidization of borrowers. The authors suggest alternatives to allocate capital efficiently and improve financial inclusion.
Companies increasingly use sophisticated computational tools to compete, particularly in digital markets. Giovanna Massarotto outlines how antitrust agencies must similarly modernize and adopt advanced technologies to address complex antitrust enforcement challenges effectively and remain relevant.
Kroger and Albertsons say they need to merge to compete with Walmart. Claire Kelloway argues that what they really want is Walmart’s monopsony power, and permitting mergers on these grounds will only harm suppliers, workers, and consumers.
Does an inventor’s political identity influence their productivity? In a new paper, Joseph Engelberg, Runjing Lu, William Mullins, and Richard Townsend examine the impacts of the 2008 and 2016 United States presidential elections on Democrat and Republican inventors, with a particular focus on the quantity and quality of patents after the country elects a new president.
Seventeen former chief economists of the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice Antitrust Division urge current Agency heads to separate the legal and economic analysis in the draft Merger Guidelines to strengthen the role of the latter in merger review.
Grocers Kroger and Albertsons want to merge, which would make them the second biggest retail food chain and, according to them, enhance their ability to compete with Walmart and Costco and offer lower prices to consumers. Christine P. Bartholomew writes that the promises of more competition and lower prices for consumers are unlikely to manifest, and thus the Federal Trade Commission should block the deal.
Chevron and ExxonMobil claim their announced mergers with Hess and Pioneer take advantage of market efficiencies, but a closer look reveals an antiquated tax provision likely sweetening these dangerous deals. Antitrust authorities must carefully review the serious risks entailed in these proposed mergers. In parallel, the United States federal government needs to end large tax-free reorganizations—the most egregious way in which American taxpayers are subsidizing monopolistic practices, writes Niko Lusiani.
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