Collusion Via Algorithms: Comparative Analysis & The Way Forward

By Mohsin Rahim (Jindal Global Law School)

The technological advancement at an unprecedented pace has resulted in legislation and regulation failing to keep up with new challenges faced by the consumers. The legislators and regulators are consequently struggling to amend provisions. In the traditional sense, collusion is ‘amongst’ humans or actions caused by humans. New technological advances have resulted in such collusions being taken by or in active connivance of algorithms.

The major issues across jurisdictions are: 1) What constitutes collusion in the digital age?; and 2) What is the method to collect such evidence that they can rely on to enforce Competition law without disclosing the proprietary commercially sensitive information and scuttling innovation?

The aim and objective of this paper is to analyze the functioning of algorithms under the lens of competition law, to draw a comparative analysis of the draft regulations from the jurisdictions of the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and provide suggestive regulatory reforms in India by analyzing the regulations being implemented with regard to algorithmic collusions in the abovementioned jurisdictions. The paper shall also attempt to put forward other measures (which are not a part of any regulation yet) that can be implemented to counter collusion by algorithms.

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