Digital comparison tools commonly known as price comparison sites allow consumers to compare prices for almost any product in a matter of seconds, free of charge, using just a few clicks to search the Internet. While at face value this looks like a positive, empowering development, many consumer watchdog organisations have started to raise questions about price comparison sites’ reliability, transparency and accountability. Their most prominent concern targets how supplier commissions to the price comparison sites may skew rankings
Governments and competition authorities are starting to investigate. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has completed a market study into price comparison sites. The German Federal Cartels Office is currently conducting a sector enquiry. Other agencies across Europe appear to be interested in launching their own enquiries.
WIK and CEPS are organizing a European debate on competition issues around price comparison sites. We have invited a line-up of excellent high-level expert speakers from the European Commission, national competition authorities and the University of St. Gallen to discuss the actual impact of price comparison tools on consumers and suppliers as well as the entire economy.See publication