|Crowd-assisted Search for Price Discrimination in E-Commerce: First results
Presenter: Nikolaos Laoutaris (Telefonica Research)
Q: What’s the big surprise here?
A: No surprise. Our goal was to quantify the extent of price discrimination in e-commerce. Before there were only rumours that price discrimination is happening.
Q: How much discrimination can be attributed to factors like differences in taxation across countries?
A: For all results, we make sure that we use the initial price before added tax for our comparisons.
Q: Is the next step the setup of a brokering system, such that as a customer you can get the best price?
A: We thought about it, but it is a complex endeavour. For example, many retailers do not allow shopping from one location yet shipping to another location. However, this might be possible to solve using proxy mechanisms, e.g. for shipping companies like Borderlinx.
Q: Some price discrimination can be caused by elasticity in pricing, i.e. you would observe different prices even for a single user?
A: Correct. We have some anecdotal evidence that companies have large number of employees just focusing on setting the right prices.
Presenter: Ioana Livadariu (Simula Research Laboratory)
- Situation: Internet registries run out of free IPv4 address space, and IPv6 is only adopted slowly; three RIRs made transfer markets legal
- Approach: analysis of published transfers (list published by RIRs), and detect transfers in the wild to determine whether some transfers are not announced (using BGP routing tables)
- Observed increasing number of published transfers
- Legacy allocation accounts for 40% of all address space; 75% of published transfers are from legacy allocations → healthy redistribution
- Question asked: Are transferred addresses actually used or are they merely hoarded?
- Observation: 85% of transferred blocks are routed after transfer
- Buyers need addresses more than sellers; higher utilization of non-transferred blocks (sellers use between 0.9 and 5.3% of their allocation, buyers use 5 - 19% of their allocation)
- Determined that IPv6 deployment is not expected to eliminate the need for IPv4 addresses (48% of buyers went to IPv4 market before deploying IPv6)
- BGP data analysis resulted in candidate list of possible transfers (prefix for which there is a change in the origin AS); designed filters to remove candidates which observed changes unrelated to transfers
- Observed order of magnitude more candidate transfers compared to published ones (investigating manually)
Q: Is the market increasing?
A: Yes. We see an increasing number of candidate and published transfers.