Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Automated switching services

Garrod, Luke and Li, Ruochen and Wilson, Christopher (2023): Automated switching services.

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Automated switching services have recently emerged as online intermediaries that use algorithms to facilitate consumer switching. Unlike price comparison websites, these services i) act on behalf of consumers by actively switching them to the cheapest deals, ii) typically charge consumers directly, rather than charging suppliers commission, and iii) often survey across the entire market. We offer the first theoretical analysis of such services. In an oligopoly model with imperfect price information, we characterize an equilibrium with an auto-switching service, and analyze its impact on market outcomes and welfare.

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