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Preventing Discrimination at Airbnb

In January 2014, Mike Luca and I posted a study finding that black hosts on Airbnb face discrimination — best understood as guests less willing to stay at their properties, forcing them to lower their prices to attract guests. More recently, Mike Luca… → Read More: Preventing Discrimination at Airbnb

How Uber Uses API Restrictions to Block Price Comparison and Impede Competition

For years, Uber has tried to use its API as a potential barrier against competition. Uber invites third-party developers to connect to its servers to get real-time information about vehicle location (how many minutes until a vehicle can pick up a passe… → Read More: How Uber Uses API Restrictions to Block Price Comparison and Impede Competition

FCC Comment on Expanding Consumers’ Video Navigation Choices

Today I filed comments in the FCC’s ongoing proceeding Expanding Consumers’ Video Navigation Choices. While I credit the FCC’s goal of increasing competition in cable television hardware, I flag serious side effects of the proposed regulation. For one,… → Read More: FCC Comment on Expanding Consumers’ Video Navigation Choices

Uber Overcharges, Spring 2016

While claiming price advantages over taxis, Uber overcharges consumers by withholding promised discounts and credits. In today’s post, I examine a set of Uber pricing guffaws — each, a breach of the company’s own unambiguous written commitments — tha… → Read More: Uber Overcharges, Spring 2016

EC Statement of Objections on Google’s Tactics in Mobile

Today the European Commission announced a Statement of Objections to Google’s approach to Android mobile licensing and applications. Broadly, the EC’s concerns arise from Google’s contractual restrictions on phone manufacturers — requiring them to … → Read More: EC Statement of Objections on Google’s Tactics in Mobile

When Your Competitors Ignore the Law

Last fall I flagged the problem of transportation network companies (Uber and kin) claiming a cost advantage by ignoring legal requirements they considered ill-advised or inconvenient. But the problem stretches well beyond TNCs. Consider Airbnb declin… → Read More: When Your Competitors Ignore the Law

Gone Medium

I’ve recently switched platforms again. You can now find my posts on Medium.
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Discrimination Against Airbnb Guests

To facilitate trust, many online platforms encourage sellers to provide personal profiles and even to post pictures of themselves. However, these features may also facilitate discrimination based on sellers’ race, gender, age, or other characteristic… → Read More: Discrimination Against Airbnb Guests

Assessing Uber: Competition and Regulation in Transportation Networks

For consumers, it’s easy to applaud Uber, Lyft, and kin (transportation network companies or TNCs). Faster service, usually more reliable, often in nicer vehicles—all at lower prices. What’s to dislike?
Look behind the curtain and things are not s… → Read More: Assessing Uber: Competition and Regulation in Transportation Networks

Google Just Open Sourced TensorFlow, Its Artificial Intelligence Engine

TECH PUNDIT TIM O’Reilly had just tried the new Google Photos app, and he was amazed by the depth of its artificial intelligence. O’Reilly was standing a few feet from Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page this past May, at a small cocktail receptio… → Read More: Google Just Open Sourced TensorFlow, Its Artificial Intelligence Engine