New Paper by Professor Ariel Ezrachi Receives Coverage in The Economist


Professor Ariel Ezrachi, Pembroke Fellow and Tutor in Law, and Slaughter and May Professor of Competition Law,  recently published a paper with co-author Dr Maurice Stucke titled ‘Two Artificial Neural Networks Meet in an Online Hub and Change the Future (of Competition, Market Dynamics and Society)’. An abstract of the paper is available here. This research follows their book Virtual Competition: The Promise and Perils of the Algorithm-Driven Economy (2016).

Building on their research, the paper begins by addressing a model of tacit collusion and its manifestation online. Taking note of advancement in technology and emerging policies, they move the debate forward and provide a review of the possible harm and ways to address it.

The Economist recently covered this paper in two articles: ‘Price-bots Can Collude Against Consumers’ and ‘Data is Giving Rise to a New Economy’.  Among other ideas, the articles address Prof. Ariel and Dr Stucke’s proposition that antitrust authorities should operate ‘tacit collusion incubators’; meaning that regulators should run simulations on their own computers to uncover whether pricing algorithms manipulate markets or even collude. This is just one of a number of valuable conclusions stemming from their recent research.

Pembroke College is delighted to be hosting ‘Online Markets and Offline Welfare Effects – The Internet, Competition, Society and Democracy’ on 22nd May. This conference will bring together leading policy makers, enforcers, academics and practitioners to discuss the rise of the digital economy and its consequences; debating the implications of virtual competition to antitrust enforcement, society and democracy.

Read the Economist articles here and stay up to date with Prof. Ezrachi’s research by following him on Twitter @ArielEzrachi.