Insights Competition and Markets Authority issues Call for Information on algorithms and their impact on competition and consumer harm

The CMA has published a research paper on “Algorithms: How they can reduce competition and harm consumers” (see item above). Respondents should refer to the relevant parts of the paper when considering the questions posed by the Call for Information. The CMA says that it will use the responses from this Call for Information to inform and enhance its analysing algorithms programme.

The CMA invites responses to the following questions:

  • Are the potential harms set out in the review paper the right ones to focus on in the CMA’s algorithms programme? Are there others that it has not covered that deserve attention?
  • Do you agree with how the CMA has described each harm, and are there other examples that demonstrate them in addition to the examples included?
  • How likely and impactful are the identified harms now, and how might they evolve in the next few years?
  • Are there specific examples that the CMA should investigate further to consider whether they are particularly harmful and potentially breaching consumer or competition law?
  • Are there any examples of techniques that the CMA should be aware of or that it should consider beyond those outlined?
  • Are there other examples where competition or consumer agencies have interrogated algorithms that have not been included?
  • Is the role of regulators in addressing the harms set out in the research paper feasible, effective and proportionate?
  • Are there other ideas or approaches that the CMA should consider as part of its role?

The CMA is also inviting academics or other organisations who would be interested in collaborating on its algorithms programme to contact it. The deadline for responses is 16 March 2021. To access the research paper and the Call for Information, click here.