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Virtual Competition
Author: Ariel Ezrachi

ISBN: 9780674545472
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 300
Published: 30 November 2016
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 15.6 x 23.5 x 2.8
Description:
Shoppers with Internet access and a bargain-hunting impulse can find a universe of products at their fingertips. In this thought-provoking exposé, Ariel Ezrachi and Maurice Stucke invite us to take a harder look at today's app-assisted paradise of digital shopping. While consumers reap many benefits from online purchasing, the sophisticated algorithms and data-crunching that make browsing so convenient are also changing the nature of market competition, and not always for the better.

Computers colluding is one danger. Although longstanding laws prevent companies from fixing prices, data-driven algorithms can now quickly monitor competitors' prices and adjust their own prices accordingly. So what is seemingly beneficial increased price transparency ironically can end up harming consumers. A second danger is behavioral discrimination. Here, companies track and profile consumers to get them to buy goods at the highest price they are willing to pay. The rise of super-platforms and their "frenemy" relationship with independent app developers raises a third danger. By controlling key platforms (such as the operating system of smart phones), data-driven monopolies ...

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