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Case Studies related to the Law and Economics of European Competition Policy

Exam number: 6747

Semester: from 2nd semester

Duration of the module: One semester

Form of the module (i.e. obligatory, elective etc.): Elective

Frequency of module offer: Summer semester 2021, irregularly.

Prerequisites: As a prerequisite, you need knowledge in microeconomics, math and statistics (Bachelor level). In order to take this course, students must have attended the course “The Law and Economics of European Competition Policy” (Course number 6412). The seminar can be chosen by IBA-Master and MES-Master students. The registration deadline is 14th April 2021. You have to register via Moodle Viadrina (first come first serve principle until the capacity limit is reached). Some spots will be reserved for foreign exchange students in order to increase the diversity and heterogeneity of the participants. Only foreign exchange students can therefore send an email to for manual registration upon arrival in case the capacity limit for the course is already reached and registration via Moodle does not work anymore. In this case, please use your Viadrina E-mail address if possible. The capacity is limited to 20 students. Criteria: 
1. Participation in the lecture
2. Some spots are reserved for FX students

Applicability of module for other study programmes:
Obligatory or elective in other study programmes. For further information check regulations of the study programme.

Person responsible for module: Prof. Dr. Georg Stadtmann

Name of the professor: Prof. Dr. Georg Stadtmann Prof. Dr. Stephan Simon

Language of teaching: English

ECTS-Credits (based on the workload): 6

Workload and its composition (self-study, contact time):
Contact time (lecture, tutorials, seminar etc.) 45 h; self-study: 135 h

Contact hours (per week in semester): 3

Methods and duration of examination:
In the first part of the seminar, each group will receive a case study and will work out a written solution and a presentation. The solution can be either text in the notes panes of the PowerPoint slides or a separate Word-document.
A presentation will be scheduled at the mid of the semester and will be blocked during one weekend.
Afterwards, all groups shall write their own case study and teaching note. Turn in at the end of the semester.
Case Solving: 20 %
Präsentation/Presentation: 20 %
Case Writing (Case Study & Teaching Note): 60 %

Emphasis of the grade for the final grade: Please check regulations of the study programme

Aim of the module (expected learning outcomes and competencies to be acquired):
Did you ever wonder why Google was fined EUR 2.4 billion in 2017 and EUR 4.3 billion in 2018, why Ireland was ordered to recover EUR 13 billion in taxes from Apple and why Siemens and Alstom were not allowed to merge their railway businesses ? Why can EU governments not subsidize their national airlines (Alitalia, Air Berlin) or foreign direct investment as they see fit? Even in times of a crisis such as the current corona pandemic? The answer is because there is a watchdog sitting in Brussels and enforcing the European Competition Policy. Competition Policy is part of the policy objectives of the EU since its inception in 1957. Originally a policy field dominated by lawyers, there is today a clear understanding that economics play an equally important role. Competition policy and enforcement is concerned with economic concepts such as the relevant market, market power, entry barriers and the effects of certain restrictive practices on the market, be they mergers, agreements, unilateral behaviour or subsidies. This course builds on courses in industrial economics and applies these concepts and methods to real world cases. It is also open to law students with an understanding of basic micro-economic concepts. In each module students will discuss one or two landmark competition cases. At the end of the course students will be able to analyse cases by applying economic techniques to identify anti- or pro-competitive effects and to develop a possible theory of harm.

Contents of the module:
The course Economics of European Competition Policy (Course number 6412) dealt with the following topics (see below). Hence, we expect that you specialize in one or two of these fields by solving and writing case studies in these fields.

I. Introduction

1. Objectives of competition policy
2. Consumer welfare, efficiency gains and the market integration objective
3. Economic thinking: from Harvard and Ordo to Chicago
4. Rules and institutions of EU competition law
5. Basic economic concepts: Market definitions, market power, theories of harm and efficiencies

II. The Law and Economics of Horizontal Cooperation Agreements and Cartels

1. Economic theories of harm for horizontal cooperation and collusion
2. Block Exemptions on R&D, Technology Transfer and Specialisation
3. Hard core cartels, fines and leniency

III. The Law and Economics of Vertical Restraints

1. Input and Customer foreclosure through supply and distribution contracts
2. Resale price maintenance and territorial protection
3. The block exemptions on distribution agreements

IV. The Law and Economics of Abuse of Dominance

1. Single and collective dominance
2. Exploitative and exclusionary practices
3. The Commission's guidance paper

V. The Law and Economics of Merger Control

1. Horizontal, vertical and conglomerate mergers
2. Theories of harm: Unilateral vs. co-ordinated effects
3. Remedies

VI. The Law and Economics of State Subsidies (State Aid Control)

1. Economic theories of harm: subsidy races, rent-seeking, moral hazard
2. The EU-notion of state aid
3. Compatible aid and recovery

Teaching and learning methods:

Literature (compulsory reading, recommended literature):
Recommended literature:
Bishop/Walker: The Economics of EC Competition Law. 3rd edition, Sweet & Maxwell, 2010.
Faull/Nikpay: The EC Law of Competition. 3rd edition Oxford University Press, 2014.
Gerardin/ Layne-Farrar/ Petit: EU Competition Law and Economics. Oxford University Press, 2012.
Gore/Lewis/Lofaro/Dethmers: The Economic Assessment of Mergers under European Competition Law. Cambridge University Press, 2013.
Lyons: Cases in European Competition Policy. The Economic Analysis. Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Further information:
Registration via Moodle Viadrina required.