Big data & price fixing cartels

… as pricing systems become ever more autonomous, aspiring monopolists like Mr Topkins eventually will not even need to speak to their competitors to fix prices.

Computers will do the colluding for them, either by using the same algorithm or learning from their interactions with other machines — all without leaving behind trails of incriminating emails or voicemails.

Policing the digital cartels, by David J Lynch in Financial Times

… the big data phenomenon “may pose serious challenges to competition authorities in the future, as it may be very difficult, if not impossible, to prove an intention to co-ordinate prices, at least using current antitrust tools”

“Particularly in the case of artificial intelligence, there is no legal basis to attribute liability to a computer engineer for having programmed a machine that eventually ‘self-learned’ to co-ordinate prices with other machines.”

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