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Competition

Quality considerations in the zero-price economy

 

 28 November 2018  Paris  

Over the course of a single day, most consumers will come into contact with at least one product that is offered to them at a price of zero. Business models centred around the zero-price provision of products are not new. However, in the digital economy, new zero-price markets have arisen with their own unique characteristics and vast scope.


The OECD held a discussion in November 2018 to cover several particular challenges associated with quality in zero-price markets, including:

  • Identifying what constitutes a dimension of quality competition in a zero price market. These can, depending on the market, include privacy, exposure to advertising content, or ease of switching.

  • Overcoming the challenges associated with competition analysis in the zero price economy. Competition authorities may have to adapt their analytical tools in the absence of monetary prices.

  • Addressing demand-side concerns in the zero-price economy. These range from the potential for deceptive or unfair contract terms, to information asymmetries causing market failures, to consumer biases in decision-making. Cooperation between competition, consumer protection and data protection authorities, as well as sector regulators, will be needed to diagnose demand-side problems and develop procompetitive, consumer welfare-enhancing solutions.

The discussion was held during a joint meeting of the OECD Consumer Protection and Competition committees. All related materials for the discussion are available on this page.

 » Read the OECD background note EN • FR

 

INVITED SPEAKER

Marco BOTTA Bio  
Senior Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Germany

 

KEY PAPERS

OECD Background note • Note de référence de l'OCDE 

Summaries of contributions

EU

Germany

Hungary 

Japan

Israel 

Italy

Mexico

Russian Federation 

Spain 

United Kingdom 

United States 

BEUC 

BIAC

  

» Read the OECD background note

» Watch a video about the other topics under discussion in Nov 2018

» OECD Competition Youtube channel

 

PRESENTATIONS

 

RELATED BEST PRACTICE ROUNDTABLES

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Rethinking Antitrust Tools for Multi-Sided Platforms, 2018

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RELATED TOPICS

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Abuse of dominance

Competition enforcement practices

Procompetitive policy reforms

Digital Economy and Innovation 

 

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