Jeffrey Moriarty
Bentley University
Online retailers are using advances in data collection and computing technologies to “personalize” prices, i.e., offer goods for sale to shoppers at their reservation prices, or the highest price they are willing to pay. In this paper, I offer a criticism of this practice. I begin by putting online personalized pricing in context. It is not something entirely new, but rather a kind of price discrimination, a familiar pricing practice. I then offer a fairness-based argument against it. When an online retailer personalizes prices, it competes unfairly for the social surplus created by a transaction. I defend this argument against objections, and offer a simple remedy: online retailers should either disclose that they are personalizing prices, or stop doing so.
Keywords Competition  Dynamic pricing  Fairness  Personalized pricing  Price discrimination
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DOI 10.1007/s10676-021-09592-0
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Equality or Priority?Derek Parfit - 2002 - In Matthew Clayton & Andrew Williams (eds.), The Ideal of Equality. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 81-125.
Internalism and Internal Values in Sport.Robert L. Simon - 2000 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 27 (1):1-16.
The Ethics of Price Gouging.Matt Zwolinski - 2008 - Business Ethics Quarterly 18 (3):347-378.

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