On 10 December 2020, the Dutch Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) announced that it has launched a pilot investigation into the role of algorithms in commercial interactions between market players and the impact on market behaviour these algorithms may have. In our regular blog for Kluwer, Loyens & Loeff discusses the implications of the study and we take a look at where things could be heading.

What’s it about?

The ACM intends to put the results of the study to use in order to inform market parties on what they can expect in case the ACM would start an investigation into the functioning of their algorithms. The ACM is conducting the pilot in cooperation with Muziekweb, an online music library. On the same day, the ACM has published a position paper on the monitoring of algorithmic applications. This position paper is a starting point from which the ACM intends to further develop this type of monitoring. The paper provides general guidance on investigations into potential infringements in which algorithmic applications play a role.

The ACM’s research into algorithmic applications is still at an early stage and there are quite some challenges that the ACM might face when investigating the role of algorithms in companies’ market activities. It will be interesting to see how the pilot will develop and whether the ACM will indeed be successful in implementing research strategies that can disclose the role of algorithmic applications in potential infringements of competition law.

Read much more in our recent blog for Kluwer.