i3, une unité mixte de recherche CNRS (UMR 9217)

Institut Interdisciplinaire de l'Innovation

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Cerna seminar wil host Geza Sapi from European Commission, DG Competition, Chief Economist’s Team
19 Janvier 2022 • 15h30-18h30 • Mines ParisTech • Salle Vendôme

Cerna seminar :

"Algorithms in the marketplace: An empirical analysis of automated pricing in e-commerce"

Geza Sapi from European Commission, DG Competition, Chief Economist's Team


We have the pleasure to announce Geza Sapi from the European Commission, DG Competition, Chief Economist's Team as the next speaker in our CERNA research seminar. The hybrid seminar on Wednesday 19/01/2022 at 4pm will take place in Salle Vendome. Below we also provide log-in information for the live stream on Zoom for those who cannot attend in person.

Abstract: We analyze algorithmic pricing on Bol.com, the largest online marketplace in the Netherlands and Belgium. Based on more than two months of pricing data for around 2,800 popular products, we find that algorithmic sellers can both increase and reduce the price of the Buy Box (the most prominently displayed offer for a product). Consistently with collusion, algorithms benefit from each other’s presence: Prices are particularly high if two algorithms bid against each other and there is a medium number of sellers in the market. We identify several algorithmic pricing patterns that are often associated with collusion. Algorithmic sellers are more likely to win the Buy Box, implying that consumers may face inflated prices more often. We also document efficiencies due to algorithmic pricing. With a sufficient number of competitors, algorithmic sellers reduce the Buy Box price and compete particularly fiercely. Algorithms furthermore reduce prices in monopoly markets. We explain this by the inability of traditional product managers to manually adjust prices product-by-product for a large number of items, which automated agents may correct. Overall, our findings call for careful policy with respect to pricing algorithms, that considers both the risk of collusion and the need to preserve potential efficiencies.

Register with dennis.rickert@mines-paristech.fr



19 janvier 2022
Heure :
15 h 30 min - 18 h 30 min
Catégories d’évènement:


Dennis Rickert
E-mail :


Mines ParisTech
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Paris, 75006 France
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