FSR C&M/FCP Joint Online Course on Merger Control: Recent Developments and Digital Markets


Our 5-week course provides expert insights into the most recent developments recorded in the field of merger control in digital markets. Throughout the course, you will learn about:

  • Fundamentals of the M&As
  • Challenges posed by market definition and the estimation of market power in multi-sided markets
  • Main theories of harm in the digital economy (most commonly found in the context of horizontal, vertical, and conglomerate mergers)
  • Merger notifications thresholds (from a comparative perspective)
  • Killer acquisitions and the key role played by innovation

The online course is delivered on an online platform where participants can meet and interact with academics, who are outstanding experts in their field. Our training adopts a multidisciplinary approach, allowing everyone to gain a combination of theoretical and practical skills whilst promoting creative thinking.

Each module consists of dedicated reading materials, self-evaluation assessments, discussions, and an interactive live class to wrap-up the week. Recordings will be available shortly after each live class. Throughout the duration of the course, participants will be able to interact with each other and the instructors as well. At the end of the course, individual feedback will be provided to those participants who deliver the final assignment, i.e. short essay on a choice of topics related to the weekly modules, which represents a requirement for obtaining the Level 2 Certificate.


Take our quiz and discover whether you are up to date with merger control developments in digital markets



Institutional Partner

The online training is organized in cooperation with the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD). 5 free seats will be assigned by UNCTAD Secretariat to officials from National Competition Authorities of developing countries.

For more information, please contact Teresa Moreira, Head of the UNCTAD Competition and Consumer Policies Branch (teresa.moreira@unctad.org).



The course is organised by the Florence Competition Programme (FCP) and the Florence School of Regulation Communications and Media (FSR C&M), two programmes based at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) of the European University Institute (EUI). These programmes provide state-of-the-art training for practitioners, carry out analytical and empirical research, and promote informed discussions on key policy issues in regulation and competition. Their flagship activity is the Joint Annual Training “Competition & Regulation for the Digital Era”.

This course represents the Annual Training’s second block of three.

See the webpage of the previous block, 5G: Understanding the Main Policy Challenges.


Course director
Pier Luigi Parcu
  • Dates
    22 Feb 2021 - 26 Mar 2021
  • Type
  • Workload
    5/6 hours per week
  • Register by
    07 Feb 2021
Protectionism and nationalism in the post-COVID World

Participants are invited to attend a series of webinars that aim at debating the impact of the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 on economic protectionism and nationalism, with special emphasis on foreign direct investments and on the system of merger control in Europe. The webinars will take place beginning Thursday 25 February from 1pm to 2.15pm, via Zoom. Participation is free of charge.

Course Structure

Welcome to the course
22 February 2021, 1pm CET


Week 1 – M&A and the acquisition of control in digital markets, by Sarah Long (Euclid Law)
22 February – 26 February

  • Live class: 24 February, 1.00 pm CET
  • Webinar: 25 February, 1.00 pm CET – National champions and merger control during COVID-19.


Week 2 – Market definition and market power in multi-sided markets, by Pier Luigi Parcu (EUI)
1 March – 5 March

  • Live class: 3 March, 1.00 pm CET


Week 3 – Horizontal, vertical and conglomerate mergers: theories of harm in the digital economy, by Emmanuel Frot (Analysis Group)

8 March – 12 March

  • Live class: 10 March, 1.00 pm CET
  • Webinar: 11 March, 1.00 pm CET – Foreign Direct Investments in the post-COVID world


Week 4 – Thresholds of merger notification: comparative perspectives and digital markets, by Rupprecht Podszun (University of Düsseldorf)
15 March – 19 March

  • Live class: 17 March, 1.00 pm CET


Week 5 – The role of innovation in merger control and killer acquisitions, by Maria Alessandra Rossi (University of Chieti-Pescara)
22 March – 26 March

  • Live class: 24 March, 1.00 pm CET
  • Webinar: 25 March, 1.00 pm CET – Failing firm defence in times of COVID-19 economic crisis


Deadline individual assignment delivery
16 April 2021


Feedback to individual assignment and certificate delivery
10 – 14 May 2021


Structure of the week of the online training:

  • Monday: Background materials on the topic of the week are uploaded on the e-learning platform
  • Tuesday: Individual learning
  • Wednesday: The live class, including a Q&A session, takes place from 1.00 to 2.15 pm (CET) via zoom. Right after the live class, the self-evaluation assessment is made available on the platform; additional readings are uploaded and the forum for collective discussion is open
  • Thursday: Online seminar cycle on ‘Protectionism and nationalism in post-COVID World’ – (attendance is optional)
  • Friday: Individual learning


Activities carried out via the online platform during the training


  • Weekly background reading materials
  • Weekly live class
  • Online forum of discussion
  • Weekly assignment (self-evaluation assessment consisting of ten multiple choice questions)
  • Final assignment (short essay on one of the topics of the course; the delivery of the final assignment is required in order to obtain the ‘Certificate of Excellence’ at the end of the course)
  • Webinars on “Protectionism and nationalism in post-COVID World” (optional)


Audience & Levels

The course is designed for professionals interested in gaining in-depth knowledge over a short period of time, with a background in law or economics, including:

  • Officials from National Competition Authorities (NCAs), National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) and other public bodies
  • In-house lawyers and legal counsels
  • Economic consultants
  • Policy and decision-makers
  • Academics

At the end of the course, participants can earn a certificate depending on their level of engagement and performance throughout the course.

Level 1: Certificate of Attendance

Awarded to all participants

Level 2: Certificate of Excellence

Awarded to participants that complete the weekly assignments on time, take part in most of the live classes (3 out of 5), and deliver the final assignment by the prescribed deadline

All participants will be awarded a Level 1 Certificate upon receipt of the fee payment, to be submitted before the course starts

Course Fees

General course fee: 1000 €

Discounted fee for representatives of FSR C&M Donors, officials from National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) and National Competition Authorities (NCAs), and academics: 700 €

The paid registration fee is non-refundable

Where do Participants Come From?

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Course Faculty

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Online Course on Merger Control: Recent Developments and Digital Markets

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