Competition Policy in Practice : Cases
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Born in North America at the end of the 19th century and in Germany following the Second World War, competition policies now constitute a favored method of regulating developed economies. After an initial presentation of the foundations and objectives of these policies (in the US / European Union / France), as well as an brief outline of the current legal standards and procedural rules for antitrust enforcement and merger control (in the EU and in France), the course will focus on some specific themes.
These sessions will present relevant tools of economic analysis (mainly industrial economics theoretical literature) to inform the examination of business practices in disputes, including both agreements (horizontal or vertical) and abuses of a dominant position. Quantitative methods used in competition cases (antitrust cases, disputes over damages, merger control) will also be discussed during this course.
The purpose of the course is to give students the ability to examine a competition situation in economic terms, mobilising their theoretical and empirical skills relevantly. The course is aimed at students who would like / plan a first working experience with a competition or regulatory authority, a consultancy firm or a major corporation. It will also interest anyone wishing to work in related functions such as strategy or corporate finance (M&A).
After an inbtroductory session presenting the foundations of competition law, the next sessions will each focus on one or two important themes such as the use of quantitative methods for damage evaluation and in merger assessment, abusive pricing practices (predation, tying / bundling, rebates, etc.), vertical agreements, horizontal practices facilitating collusion (e.g., information exchanges), vertical mergers, etc.
Each themed session will include presentation and discussion of real or fictitious cases. A large part of the sessions will devoted to student presentations and group discussion (about cases). These students’ presentations and class discussion will form an essential part of the course evaluation (the remaining part being related to homework). It is therefore essential that students attend ALL sessions and take an active part in the class discussions.
Evaluation will be based on (1) presentation of one real antitrust case during one of the sessions, (2) group presentation and discussion of a quantitative analysis of antitrust damages (homework part 1), (3) individual homework and (4) active participation during the sessions.