20142 - COMPETITION LAW
Course taught in English
Class-group lessons delivered on campus
If competition is the engine of market economies, competition law is meant to keep competition healthy. Students of economics - whether they become managers, consultants, scholars, or policymakers - must learn how to recognize and go after the business practices that may harm market well-functioning. Therefore, the course discusses the main EU legal rules forbidding anti-competitive agreements, monopolistic practices, and mergers.
General principles and basic concepts:
- A brief history of competition law
- The goals of EU competition law.
- Competition law and economics.
- The EU enforcing system. Private and Public enforcement.
- The EU remedies against anticompetitive business practices.
- Market power and market definition.
Specific business practices:
- Abuses of a dominant position.
Students are required to:
- Identify the goals of competition law and distinguish them from those characterizing other pieces of business regulations.
- Understand the role that economics plays in competition law.
- Know the EU enforcing system.
- Know the remedies that in the EU can be applied against anticompetitive practices.
- Use the notion of market power and the rules about agreements, abuses of a dominant position, and mergers to develop the reasoning necessary to assess different market scenarios.
- Identify the possible antitrust risks inherent to different market scenarios.
- Solve hypothetical cases concerning the lawfulness of business practices.
- Suggest methods of self-evaluation of business activities to avoid or limit the risk of subsequent antitrust liability.
- communicate with appropriate legal vocabulary.
- Face-to-face lectures
- Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
- Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
- Group assignments
- The course hosts one or more guest speakers, such as antitrust lawyers and officials, to explain general antitrust consulting and enforcement activities.
- Case studies are analyzed in class to teach students how to assess market scenarios.
- At the end of each of the course’s main sections (agreements, monopolistic practices, and mergers), the instructor prepares a mock exam showing how to solve both theoretical and scenario questions.
- Students are also assigned a leading case to discuss in class.
A committed and pro-active attendance is highly recommended.
The exam is written and is a closed-book exam. Students can bring the relevant antitrust laws and regulations (I publish more information on the Bboard).
- The written final exam consists of 2 scenario questions, 1 theoretical question, 7 multiple-choice questions. The answer to each scenario question can grant up to 8 points (8,5 points for really outstanding answers). The answer to the theoretical question is worth up to 7 points. Scenario questions have the aim of examining the ability to address and set up the solution to a hypothetical case (for instance by identifying a possible line of defense in an antitrust investigation); the theoretical question aims to reveal the understanding of complex legal concepts and issues, as well as demonstrating how they are actually applied and interpreted by antitrust authorities or in the case law. Multiple-choice questions (each correct answer is worth one point; no penalization for wrong answers) aim at assessing the general understanding of competition law and policy.
- Students can form small groups to read, analyze and present in class short summaries of an antitrust decision/judgment. Class presentations are very helpful to illustrate and thus to better understand the legal reasoning underlying an antitrust decision or judgment. For this reason, we strongly encourage them: (a) anyone who participates to a class presentation that strictly complies with the rules in terms of content and length can skip the multiple choice section of the exam.
- Powerpoint presentations available on the Bboard (compulsory).
- R. WHISH, D. BAILEY, Competition Law, 2018 (highly recommended).