UM E-Theses Collection (澳門大學電子學位論文庫)

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"Pricing arrangements" in online platforms : a new challenge for EU competition law?

English Abstract

By using their technological advantage and their probable dominant position, online platforms can abuse in pricing practices trough the usage of price discrimination practices or price optimization or dynamic differential pricing, pricing algorithms, express or tacit collusion through the use of the same algorithm, parity clauses, software programs to manipulate prices, contractual clauses to restraint prices, etc. These pricing arrangements constitute practices that are not easily qualified as infractions within the existent competition law provisions. Therefore, it seems that they have no adequate legal framework. The role of competition law to deal with online platforms is challenged in certain degree that other form of control is advanced, especially regulations. While the adoption of special rules to deal with online platforms is a possible solution to overcome this problem, issues as: the absence of any universal accepted definition of online platforms; little concrete evidence of harm; the taxonomy of online platforms originating in entirely different sectors that justify as well as not a special intervention; and the existence of some substantial uncertainties in regard to competition law foundations; indicate that the time is not for the action of legislative production, but for paving the way for future actions. This thesis aims to identify the pricing arrangements at issue, and analyses them in detail so as to reach at an understanding of the necessity or not of such regulatory intervention. It offers an exploration of a number of specific concerns that may arise related to specific pricing strategies in practical cases in contrast with the understanding of the EU competition law rules and analyses the suggested solutions to overcome this intriguing question. Key words: Pricing Practices; Online Platforms; European Union; Competition Law.

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Chirindza, Nacita Cirylene Lourenço


Faculty of Law




Competition, Unfair -- European Union countries

Antitrust law -- European Union countries

Internet marketing -- European Union countries


Neuwirth Rostam J.

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