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21 Colum. Sci. & Tech. L. Rev. 1 (2019-2020)

handle is hein.journals/cstlr21 and id is 1 raw text is: 

2020] LIMITS  OF  ONLINE  PRICE  DISCRIMINATIONINEUROPE


                         THE COLUMBIA

       SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

                            LAW REVIEW

VOL.  XXI                          STLR.ORG                      FALL  2019



      THE   LIMITS   OF  ONLINE PRICE DISCRIMINATION IN EUROPE


                                 Alan  M.  Searsl*

           As  big data capabilities have increased, so too has the potential for price
        discrimination. Price discrimination occurs when sellers offer goods and services
        at different prices to different consumers. Profiles of consumers can be created
        based on a variety offactors, such as their location, past purchases or behaviors
        online, or, morefrequently, a large number offactors that, when combined, enables
        sellers to serve tailored prices based on differences between consumer profiles. In
        addition to these algorithmic forms of price discrimination, simpler methods are
        also in use, such as basing prices solely on the basis of a consumer's IP address.

            This article aims to provide a comprehensive mapping of the boundaries of
        online price discrimination in Europe. HMile few legal provisions speak directly
        to online price discrimination or personalized pricing, a number of areas of law
        likely have a bearing on the extent to which price discrimination is legally
        permitted. As such, this article will examine competition law, consumer protection
        law, data protection law, and non -discrimination law in order to determine where
        online price discrimination may constitute noncompliance with one of the relevant
        provisions, as well as to denote where it appears that the framework is ill-equipped
        to adequately address the practice. Practical and sociological aspects relating to
        both online price discrimination and the application of the legal frameworks in
        these areas are also incorporated.

        I.  Introduction                           .................3............ 3
            A.   Background   .................................. 3
            B.   What  is online price discrimination? ......         ..........4
                     1.  Price discrimination disambiguation  ................4
                     2.  Related terms and  concepts ......      ...........6

        II.  Online price discrimination and  competition law  ...............8

        III. Online price discrimination and  consumer  protection law ... 15

        IV.  Online price discrimination and  data protection law......20

        V.   Online price discrimination and  non-discrimination  provisions
             ...................................... 27
             A.  The  right to non-discrimination .................. 27
             B.  Racial Equality Directive and  Gender  Goods   and Services
             Directive.      ............................       ...........30
             C.  Services in the Internal Market Directive..       ........
             and  Geo-Blocking  Regulation..         .....................33


        * Researcher and Lecturer at eLaw, Center for Law and Digital Technologies,
        Faculty of Law, Leiden University, The Netherlands. LL.M., Leiden Law School
        (2017);J.D., Notre Dame Law School (2014); B.A., Baylor University (2006). The
        author would like to thank Prof. Simone van der Hof, Prof. Tycho de Graaf, and
        Prof. Gera van Duijvenvoorde for their useful comments and insight on earlier
        drafts. Contact: a.m.sears@law.leidenuniv.nl


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