E-commerce and competition policy

E-commerce presents consumers with a broad range of suppliers that they can search between much more easily than they could by visiting brick and mortar establishments. However, it also allows these suppliers to collect data on consumers that they might use for new forms of price discrimination or lead to tacit collusion through algorithmic pricing.

Competition authorities need to consider whether their existing frameworks can address e-commerce cases. We examined trends in the adoption of e-commerce for the Competition Commission of Singapore and argued that existing frameworks can cope with these cases, provided authorities are aware of the new competition risks and benefits that arise from e-commerce. The report is available here.