A UCD Business, Law and Regulation Research Group Seminar
The next generation of e-commerce will be conducted by digital agents, based on algorithms that will not only make purchase recommendations, but will also predict what we want, make purchase decisions, negotiate and execute the transaction for the consumers, and even automatically form coalitions of buyers to enjoy better terms, thereby replacing human decision-making. Algorithmic consumers have the potential to change dramatically the way we conduct business, raising new conceptual and regulatory challenges.
This game-changing technological development has significant implications for regulation, which should be adjusted to a reality of consumers making their purchase decisions via algorithms. Despite this challenge, scholarship addressing commercial algorithms focused primarily on the use of algorithms by suppliers. This article seeks to fill this void. We first explore the technological advances which are shaping algorithmic consumers, and analyze how these advances affect the competitive dynamic in the market. Then we analyze the implications of such technological advances on regulation, identifying three main challenges.
Professor Gal is Director of the Forum on Law and Markets at the faculty of Law, University of Haifa. She has held visiting professorships at NYU, Georgetown, Melbourne, Lisbon and Columbia. She is author of several books including Competition Policy for Small Market Economies (2003). She has served as a consultant to several international organizations including the OECD and UNCTAD and was a non-governmental advisor to the International Competition Network. She is a board member of several international antitrust organizations including teh American Antitrust Institute, the Antitrust Consumer Institute, the Asian Competition Law and Economics Centre and she is President of the International Academic Society for Competition Law Scholars.