Research and analysis

Pricing algorithms research, collusion and personalised pricing

Economic research on use of pricing algorithms and potential competition concerns, including collusion and personalised pricing.


Pricing algorithms

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.


This is an economic research paper on the role of pricing algorithms in online markets. It does not include any legal analysis. It reviews some existing literature, arguments, and evidence on the effects of pricing algorithms on competition. It discusses collusion and personalised pricing, as well as potential benefits to consumers, and considers what characteristics of markets or pricing algorithms might make collusive outcomes more likely. We carried out a small amount of evidence gathering to fill some literature gaps, including some tests of personalised pricing.

Published 19 June 2018
Last updated 8 October 2018 + show all updates
  1. First published.