Key contacts: David Mamane, Isabel Oest and Martin Abraham

The Robot Cartel – AI Changing the Competition Landscape

14.30 – 16.00

The workshop will focus on the question on how artificial intelligence affects competition. Whereas we are used to cartels, where humans agree to collude and map out the cartel we have to start considering instances in which computer algorithms are used as a means to coordinate pricing activities or even to raise prices. The DoJ Antitrust Division has already in 2015 in “US vs. Topkins” for the first time criminally prosecuted against a conspiracy specifically targeting automated price agreements in e-commerce. In that case the defendant and his co-conspirators apparently used specific price algorithms to implement their price-fixing agreements. In May 2015, the European Commission opened an inquiry to investigate possible competition concerns affecting e-commerce markets. Our speakers, experienced antitrust experts representing the authorities’, academic and lawyer’s perspective, will inter alia discuss with you the different types of infringement scenarios when using AI, including collusion, price discrimination and other possible concerns. We will furthermore discuss whether competition among AI (codes) fundamentally differs from competition between firms, how authorities (and advisors) reasonable assess the complex technological issues and how the authorities appropriately enforce remedies against AI (or their creators).

Part 1: Presentation of infringement scenarios using AI

  • Yong Lim, Seoul National University, South Korea

Part 2: Overview on current decision practice worldwide

  • Alessio Aresu, Latham & Watkins, Belgium

Part 3: European Commission’s view concerning the competition implications of algorithms

  • Cyril Ritter, European Commission, Belgium

Part 4: Discussion and Q&A