This is the edited transcript of the Competition Lore podcast episode 10, Competition and algorithms – friend or foe? with Professor Michal Gal.
You can purchase a PDF download of the complete transcript of this podcast for US$10.
One of the fathers of economics, Adam Smith, famously said:
“people of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”
He was referring of course to the irresistible temptation by competitors to collude.
Business collusion to subvert competition may be as old as the hills but it is facing new challenges.
In today’s world, the combination of Big Data, speed-of-light digital connectivity and giga-normous computational capacity, allows for competitors to collude through algorithms in ways unimaginable in the pre-internet age.
It’s a challenge that Professor Michal Gal of the University of Haifa is paying close attention to.
In this episode of Competition Lore Michal explains how algorithms make coordination between rivals much easier and more efficient.
She shares her creative thinking on how consumers themselves can use algorithms to counteract the anti-competitive effects.
And she helps us to understand the extent to which the current law captures algorithmic collusion as well as the ways in which it needs to adapt to keep up with technological developments.
While great care has been taken in the preparation of the transcript, there may be some minor errors.