The regulation of zero-price markets by the competition authorities in the USA and the EU

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


The modern economy is flooded with products that have no monetary price. However, it is becoming something of an established fact that many zero-price products are not ‘free’ but rather incur costs for consumers in other ways. Many governments intervene in markets when consumers are not being given a fair price for their products. If the costs to consumers for some products are not monetary however, how can governments evaluate whether the costs that consumers are incurring are too high? We seek to answer this question by assessing the approaches of the US and the EU to zero-price markets as informed by their legal and ideological traditions. We offer potential policy solutions while outlining the difficulties that accompany government intervention in zero-price markets and the obstacles when it comes to measuring non-monetary forms of consumer cost.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCompetition and Regulation in Network Industries
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)315-343
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - 01.12.2020

    Research areas

  • Economics - Zero-price markets, multi-sides markets, antitrust, anti-competitive behaviour, Google, Microsoft