Economics of Competition Policy

lecon2372  2020-2021  Louvain-la-Neuve

Economics of Competition Policy
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information below is subject to change, in particular that concerning the teaching mode (presential, distance or in a comodal or hybrid format).
5 credits
30.0 h
Van Hecke Elisabeth;
Main themes
Goals and instruments of the European competition policy
Economic analysis of art. 101 (collusion and cooperative agreements)
Economic analysis of art. 102 (abuses of dominant positions)
Economic analysis of the merger regulation

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 Learning outcomes :
- Knowledge of the European competition policy
- Knowledge of the theoretical economic approach of pricing and non-pricing strategies
- Understanding the links between the economic thinking and the evolution in the implementation of competition law, getting an overview of the controversies among competition economist scholars
Competences :
- ability to develop an interdisciplinary approach in analysing abuses of dominant position
- ability to discuss the landmark case law on abuses of dominant position and identify the impact of economic theory on the judicial reasoning.
- ability to transfer economic concepts into practical application to legal cases
- ability to use theoretical economic analysis to criticise the implementation of competition law and to propose improvements
The language of the course is English.
The goal of the course is to understand how economics (both theory and empirical analyses) contributes to competition policy.
The course is covering the following topics:
- the goals of competition policy
- assessing market power and dominance
- identifying the relevant market
- too high and too low prices
- predatory pricing and margin squeeze
- discriminatory pricing and rebates
- horizontal agreements and vertical restraints in digital markets
Teaching methods

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information in this section is particularly likely to change.

 Methodology: confront economic theory with European case law in plenary sessions, case studies presentations and informal discussions on documents published by the competition authorities or on the content of assignments submitted by students. Depending on sanitory prescriptions, teaching might be done at distance.
Attendance is compulsory as a significant part (50%) of the final grade is based on continuous evaluation.
Students are expected to read literature on the different subjects as well as legal cases and/or guidelines documents explaining how the antitrust authority intends to implement the competition policy.
For some classes, students are asked to prepare exercises which are then discussed in class.
Class discussion around cases prepared by students is also used for improving their ability to evaluate cases
Evaluation methods

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information in this section is particularly likely to change.

Grading is based on homework assignments during the semester (50%) and on a final closed-book exam (50%).  Homework counts only once whilst you are allowed to present the final exam twice during a single academic year. This means that if you fail at the first occasion (in January), the weight attached to the final exam becomes 100%. The choice between a written and an oral exam depends on the number of registered students at each session.
For group's work, a differentiated grade might be applied to members of a group in case of significant differences in involvement/quality.
Other information
Prerequisite: LECON2370 (Industrial organisation and corporate strategy).
The course uses and extends the theoretical basis presented in LECON2370.
Online resources
Slides, exercises, readings (compulsory and recommended) as well as exam questionnaires from previous years are available on the course webpage on Moodle.
available on the webpage of the course on Moodle
Faculty or entity
Force majeure
Evaluation methods
If sanitary prescriptions require an exam at distance, the final exam will be a written open book exam (organised as an assignment on Moodle) unless the number of registered students to that session allows an oral exam via Teams.

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Master [120] in Economics: General

Master [60] in Economics : General