20 Mar 2023


Recommender Systems and Competition Policy

Date: 20 March 2023

Location: Competition and Markets Authority, The Cabot, 25 Cabot Square, London, E14 4QZ

Format: Hybrid

Local organisers: Peter Ormosi (CCP and UEA), Peter Courridge (CCP and UEA), Rahul Savani (Liverpool)

Background and objective:

The online environment brings us a panoply of variety. There are far more products than could be found on any High Street, far more music than might be heard on any radio station, and far more content than might be seen on any TV channel.With variety comes the problem of choice. How do we navigate all these options? Recommender systems (RS) can help by providing personalised recommendations.

But this involves a process of prediction that can generate systemic biases. A team from the Universities of East Anglia and Liverpool, and City University have looked at how such biases risk not only worsening end-user choices but also harming competition between suppliers on the platform.

With this workshop, the team will share the findings of their work with policy stakeholders, to foster the policy debate around recommender systems, and inform future research.


12h00 Registration and lunch

12h45 Welcome and introduction - Mike Walker (CMA)

13h00 A general overview - Peter Ormosi (CCP/UEA)

13h35 Recommender systems and competition on subscription-based platforms - Rahul Savani (Liverpool)

14h10 Biased recommender systems and supplier competition - Amelia Fletcher (CCP/UEA)

14h35 Coffee

14h55 Estimating the price impact of recommender systems - Jacopo Castellini (UEA)

15h10 Preliminary empirical evidence - Peter Ormosi (CCP/UEA)

15h35 Recommender systems: The regulatory landscape - Elinor Carmi (City) and Elias Deutscher (CCP/UEA)

16h05 Stakeholder panels - Joe Perkins (Compass Lexecon), Neil Ross (UK Tech), Gordon Wai (CMA), Nadia Vinokur (BBC Distribution & Business Development)

17h05 Closing remarks