50101 - ADVANCED COMPANIES AND BUSINESS LAW - ANTITRUST LAW
Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
Class-group lessons delivered on campus
Student of Master of Arts in Giurisprudenza [Law] should have passed private law and commercial law as a pre-requisite.
Competition law and policy is one of the main policy instruments of European authorities to ensure an efficient allocation of resources and the welfare of European consumers. The course aims at analyzing why antitrust laws exist, how they are shaped, how and by which bodies they are enforced, and their impact on business strategies. In this context, the course should allow students to identify, configure and solve legal problems concerning the lawfulness of firm’s market conduct and behaviour from an antitrust standpoint. A first set of lectures are devoted to an historical introduction, to the understanding of some basic economic tools employed in antitrust analysis and to an overview of the antitrust provision contained in the European Treaties and Regulations. The bulk of the course is devoted to the reading and critical analysis of the European case law, also through class presentations and discussion.
- European antitrust law and its public enforcement.
- European vs. National competition laws. The European network of competition authorities.
- Basic economic tools: relevant markets and market power.
- The prohibition of anti-competitive agreements.
- The prohibition of abuses of a dominant position.
- The investigative, decisional, fining and remedial powers of European antitrust authorities.
- Merger regulation: jurisdiction, assessment, remedies.
- The private enforcement of European antitrust law.
- Correctly identify the objectives of antitrust law and distinguish them from those characterizing other pieces of business regulations.
- Identify jurisdiction of European vs. national antitrust law.
- Describe the antitrust procedure (investigative powers, decisional and remedial powers; fines) and justify each of those powers in the context of a model of optimal antitrust enforcement.
- Understand the modus operandi and reasoning followed by antitrust authorities when assessing a potentially anticompetitive behaviour.
- Recognize in hypothetical cases which pieces of antitrust law could be applied (agreements, abuses of a dominant position, mergers), as well as the liability conditions and limits of application of such individual prohibitions.
- Identify possible antitrust risks by using legal analysis and principles.
- Use (simple) economic instruments and indexes to define areas of potential antitrust risk when designing a business strategy.
- Solve hypothetical cases concerning the lawfulness of business agreements and behaviour on the market from an antitrust law standpoint.
- Define an antitrust defense strategy.
- Suggest methods of self-evaluation of business activities to avoid or limit the risk of subsequent antitrust liability.
- Demonstrate the ability to orally explain and 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 aimed at better understanding how antitrust law is enforced, the risks and opportunities for businesses, as well as general antitrust consulting and defense activities.
- Hypothetical cases also be analyzed in class. Focusing on a business’s conduct or behavior, possible antitrust liabilities and conditions under which such conduct may be considered prohibited or on the other hand allowed – also because of offering commitments – are identified.
- At the end of each of the course’s main sections (restrictive agreements, abuses of a dominant position, mergers), the instructor prepares a mock exam showing how to solve both theoretical and practical questions.
- Students are also assigned a leading decision by the EC Commission or a judgment by the General Court or Court of Justice. They should discuss the case with the class instructor or tutor and then briefly present the most significant or innovative aspects of the judgment/decision in class.
- Because of the course’s set up, the need to discuss the case law in class, as well as the need to learn how to solve hypothetical antitrust cases, a committed and pro-active attendance is highly recommended.
- For attending students (minimum attendance: 75% of lectures), the written final exam consists of two scenario questions and two theoretical questions.
- The 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 questions aim to reveal the understanding of complex legal concepts, as well as demonstrating how they are actually applied and interpreted in the case law.
- Under the guidance of the class instructor, students are also able to examine the legal reasoning behind an antitrust decision or judgment, presenting its main aspects in class (group presentations are optional). Anyone who, in addition to successfully attending, also gives a presentation in class can avoid to answer to one of the four questions. Members of the groups that give a clear and effective presentation, complying with the indications given by the class instructor, receive an additional point. Members of the group that gives the best presentation receive two additional points.
- For non-attending students, the final written exam consists of two scenario questions, one theoretical question and 8 closed-ended questions (multiple-choice).
- The two 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, as well as demonstrating how they are applied and interpreted in relation to concrete cases; lastly, the multiple-choice questions have the aim of assessing basic horizontal knowledge of the course content.
- R. WHISH, D. BAILEY, Competition law, Oxford University Press, 2018, 9th edition (please see the detailed course syllabus posted on Bboard for the parts/paragraphs which are not included in the program).
- A collection of competition laws, regulations, guidelines and notices are also posted on Bboard, as well as slides and presentations from each lecture.