Alfonso Lamadrid, ECJ’s Judgment in Case C-74/14, Eturas (on the scope of “concerted practices” and on technological collusion)

Alfonso Lamadrid, ECJ’s Judgment in Case C-74/14, Eturas (on the scope of “concerted practices” and on technological collusion),  Chillin’Competition, 22.01.2016

 

The case originates in a preliminary reference from the Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court in the context of annulment proceedings against a national decision finding that travel agents had coordinated the discounts applicable to clients.

What makes the case particularly interesting, is that the alleged coordination would have taken place via an online travel booking system (E-TURAS, owned by Eturas) used by more than 30 travel agents in Lithuania. The question that attracted interest to the case was, in essence, that of whether a common electronic platform facilitates collusion, an issue that has elicited interesting comments in recent times  (see here for aninteresting paper by Ezrachi and Stucke, and here for a New Yorker piece (When bots collude) on a US case involving coordination through an algorithm). Online poker players discovered these problems a long time ago, so my brothers say…

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