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International Business Administration

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 2017, irregularly.

Prerequisites: As a prerequisite you need knowledge in microeconomics, math and statistics (Bachelor level).
Students should have attended the course “The Law and Economics of European Competition Policy” (Course number 6412) or an equivalent course.
The seminar can be chosen by IBA-Master and MES-Master students.
You have to register by sending an E-Mail to until April 18th, 2017. This deadline is also valid for all Erasmus / fx-students. Please use your Viadrina E-mail address if possible. Erasmus / fx students may also register via their private E-Mail address in case that the Viadrina E-Mail account is not set up yet. The point in time you send the E-Mail serves as one decision criterion whether you are in or out. In order to increase the diversity and heterogeneity of the participants a few places are reserved for Erasmus /fx-students.
Afterwards, you will be registered automatically by our chair in the Moodle system. You cannot enroll for this course via the Moodle system by yourself!
The capacity is limited to 16 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. 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.
A presentation will be scheduled at the mid of the semester (16.-18.06.2017) 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 (September 2017).
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 UPS was not allowed to take over its rival TNT Express, why Apple had to change its e-book pricing model and HRS must not use a best price clause for its hotel reservation system? Why can EU governments not subsidize their national airlines or foreign direct investment as they see fit? Can the EU really ask Ireland to recover EUR 13 billion? Why was Intel fined one billion Euro for writing exclusivity contracts with its customers? 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. Students should after successfully completing the course be able to:
Demonstrate knowledge about the methods applied in European competition policy.
- Have a good understanding of the models, methods and routines applied by the European Commission with respect to different measures that harm competition.
- Have a good understanding of the assumptions characterizing each model and be able to compare models on the basis of these assumptions.
Demonstrate skills that enable students to
- Apply their knowledge to structure information and disentangle relevant from irrelevant information.
- Analyze complex microeconomic problems by applying several theoretical or empirical methods.
- Should have the skills to conclude about appropriate policy response (for example, the calculation of fines) in the different settings.
Demonstrate competences that enables students to:
- Communicate effectively in smaller teams and during class discussions.
- Describe and explain solution of case studies in a written and oral way. 

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

In the past, students wrote case studies related to the following topics:

  • State Aid Case on Dell’s move from Ireland to Poland
  • The LIBOR & EURIBOR Cartel
  • The takeover of Motorola Mobility by Google
  • Amazon EU S.à.r.l. and Luxembourg Tax Ruling Practices
  • Hotel bookings & Best price clauses
  • Uber and Taxi Regulations: are Member States preserving a legal monopoly to the detriment of consumers?

Hence, students can expect to work on one of these case studies in the first part of this course. For their own case study, students will be able to select from a list pf proposals or may come up with their own proposal after prior consultation with the course instructors.

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.
Jones, Alison/Sufrin, Brenda:  EU Competition Law: Text, Cases & Materials. Oxford University Press, 2016.
Lyons: Cases in European Competition Policy. The Economic Analysis. Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Motta: Competition Policy. Theory and Practice. Cambridge University Press, 2004.
Verouden/Werner: EU State Aid Control: Law and Economics. Wolters Kluwer, 2016.

Further information:
Registration via E-Mail required.