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Price Discrimination in Two-Sided Markets: the Taxi Services Example

Ekaterina A. Ponomareva – Head of Research Laboratory on Socio-Economic Regulatory Problems of the Institute for Control and Supervision, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Candidate of Economic Sciences (Moscow, Russia). Е-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The development of technologies directed at collection and analysis of digital platforms users data leads to expansion of algorithms for setting personalized prices for goods and services. This article shows using the example of the Taxi services sector in Moscow that the pricing used by the digital platform is statistically significant influenced not only by the marginal costs of providing services, but also by the personal characteristics of consumers, as well as a number of external factors (weather conditions, traffic conditions, etc.) that affect the willingness of users to pay for services.

That is, there is discrimination of taxi users on the part of the online platform, which can lead to losses of public welfare (can be up to 2% of taxi production in 2019 year). Based on the results and international experience, the authors have proposed a number of recommendations to mitigate the negative effects.

Key words: price discrimination, digital economy, personalized pricing, online platforms, two-sided markets.