Price Transparency in Australian Petrol Markets: An interdisciplinary study of the role of Information technology in strengthening market Competitiveness

Research theme: Governing markets
Duration: August 2013 to August 2014

Research team

  • Professor Caron Beaton-Welles, Law, UoM

  • Dr David Byrne, Business and Economics, UoM

  • Dr Nicolas DeRoos, University of Sydney

  • Professor Roger Ware, Queen's University

Project summary

Information technology, particularly the rise of "Big Data" is changing the information landscape of markets. This project investigates how the use of information technology could enhance information available to consumers, increasing the competitiveness of retail markets. The project uses Australian and North American experience public price monitoring websites petrol markets as a case study to analyse the potential of information technology to deliver increased technology. It is applying an innovative empirical approach to this analysis.

The project aims to shed new light on the impact transparency policies and web based price data aggregation mechanisms can have on interactions between consumers and firms in markets. This will assist regulators to promote retail competition and improve consumer welfare. The research will also examine the extent to which findings from the petrol market case study can inform the competition authorities use of price transparency schemes as tool for promoting competition and efficiency in other retail markets.