Student guide Faculty of Economics A.Y. 2008/09

Competition Law and Economics
Aim of the course
This course covers the subject of antitrust legislation, including joint analysis of the legal and economic repercussions of each of its main themes. In particular, it will include elements of EU antitrust legislation and the applicable national legislation contained in Statute no. 287 of 10 October 1990, the basic interpretation problems of which are common and technically correlated, and can be tackled on the basis of the same economic analysis methods.
In view of the case-study structure of the subject and the design of the analysis, much of the course will be based on examination of cases drawn from the EU and national case law and decision-making practice.
Students are expected to take an active part in lectures, through regular study of the materials assigned and participation in lectures, which will be organised in discussion form as far as possible.
1. History, structure and economic basis of antitrust law.
    1.1 The origins of the US legislation, EU antitrust law and its development, and its relations with national law.
    1.2 Competing economic theories.
    1.3 The three basic offences.
    1.4 Enforcement systems and sanctions.
    1.5 Basic economic tools: market power, relevant market, and elements of industrial economics.
2.   Agreements.
    2.1 Cartels, cooperation agreements and distribution agreements: economic interpretations.
    2.2 Prohibition of agreements: basic elements (concept of agreement, and concept of restraint of trade).
    2.3 Civil sanctions: nullity and damages.
    2.4 Exemption rulings: elements of evaluation.
    2.5 The problem of economic balance.
    2.6 Regulations governing exemption by category. 
3.   Abuse of dominant position.
    3.1 The concept of dominant position. Pricing powers and entry barriers.
    3.2 Concept and techniques of definition of relevant market.
    3.3 The concept of abuse. Monopolistic exploitation. Theories and techniques of restraint of trade. 
4.   Concentrations.
    4.1 Types and effects: horizontal and vertical concentrations and conglomerates.
    4.2 Prior checks and forecasting techniques.
    4.3 The concept of concentration (sole and joint control, joint ventures).
    4.4 Evaluation criteria (dominant position, collective domination).
    4.5 Relevance of efficiency, and balancing.
    4.6 Introduction to notification and evaluation procedure.
the beginning of the course to students who do not attend lectures.
Students who attend lectures will take a written exam, and possibly an oral exam, at the end of the course.
Students who do not attend lectures will take an oral exam.
Reading list
The reading list will be provided during the course.
Lecture notes and other materials (some of them in English) will be provided to students during the course. Students should refer to the course website at
Attendance at lectures is strongly recommended. Full details of the subjects on which the exam will be set will be made available at the beginning of the course to students who do not attend lectures.