Firms active in digital markets have proven remarkably active in mergers and acquisitions (M&As), constantly seeking to absorb companies — especially new start-ups — with a view to expanding their ecosystem while consolidating their market share.
One common concern raised by M&As is that such transactions might have the objective to prevent the acquired company from becoming a competitive threat: this is particularly relevant in the context of digital markets, where firms compete for the market rather than in the market and where competition from small market players is essential to discipline incumbent’s behaviour. Moreover, most of the M&As happen beyond the radar of competition authorities as the majority of these transactions do not reach the thresholds that trigger merger control.
After completing our course, you will be equipped with all the knowledge and expert insight into the new challenges raised by M&As for competition professionals and policymakers.
The online training is organised in cooperation with the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD). UNCTAD will assign 5 free seats 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.
The course is organised by the Florence Competition Programme and the Florence School of Regulation — Communications and Media, two programmes based at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies of the European University Institute (EUI). Both 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 Annual Training on Competition & Regulation for the Digital Era. This course represents the Annual Training’s second block of three.
Tuesday, 1 March 2022, at 1 pm (CET)
Live class: Tuesday, 8 March 2022, from 1 pm to 2.30 pm (CET)
Q&A session: Thursday, 10 March 2022, from 1 pm to 1.45 pm (CET)
Live class: 15 March 2022, from 1 pm to 2.30 pm (CET)
Q&A session: 17 March 2022, from 1 pm to 1.45 pm (CET)
Live class: Tuesday, 22 March 2022, from 1 pm to 2.30 pm (CET)
Q&A session: Thursday, 24 March, from 1 pm to 1.45 pm (CET)
Live class: Tuesday, 29 March 2022, from 1 pm to 2.30 pm (CET)
Q&A session: Thursday, 31 March 2022, from 1 pm to 1.45 pm (CET)
Live class: Tuesday, 5 April 2022, from 1 pm to 2.30 pm (CET)
Q&A session: Thursday, 7 April 2022, from 1 pm to 1.45 pm (CET)
29 April 2022
End of May
Background materials on the topic of the week are uploaded to the e-learning platform
The live class, including a Q&A session, takes place from 1pm to 2.30pm (CET). 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
An additional Q&A live session with the Instructor takes place from 1pm to 1.45pm (CET)
MONDAY – FRIDAY
Individual e-learning activities
During the introductory week, you will meet your course facilitator, familiarise yourself with the learning platform and the course’s online activities and contents.
This module will investigate the main reasons why the acquisition of control in digital markets can raise legal concerns under merger control regimes, departing from case studies illustrating the approach currently adopted by different competition authorities.
This module will deal with the structural elements of multi-sided markets from an economic perspective. Taking stock of the issues challenging the application of traditional antitrust concepts, it will provide a detailed analysis of the market definition exercise in its product and geographical dimensions.
After illustrating the main theories of harm elaborated by competition authorities called upon to assess a digital merger, the key question addressed by the third module will be whether these transactions may put forward new theories of harm requiring a substantial change in the approach adopted so far.
By turning the focus on thresholds in the context of digital markets, this module will provide insights into how different jurisdictions approach merger notification and review procedures.
The last module will focus on those horizontal theories of harm that have recently attracted the greatest attention both from an academic point of view and in EU case practice. It will allow participants to understand the main conclusions of the debate that has accompanied recent decisions, clarifying a number of important aspects of the assessment of anti-competitive effects.
The online course is delivered on an online platform where participants can meet and interact with academics who are outstanding experts in their field. The training adopts a multidisciplinary approach, allowing participants to gain a combination of theoretical and practical skills whilst promoting creative thinking.
Each module consists of dedicated reading materials, self-evaluation assessments, discussions, complementary mini-video lectures, and interactive live classes. 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.
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:
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 (4 out of 6), 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
Please note that the registration fee is non-refundable in case of cancellation after the start date.
Block I: 8 November - 10 December 2021
Block II: 28 February – 8 April 2022
Block III: 23 May – 1 July 2022
I consider flexibility, which is very important for professionals, one of the main strengths of this online course. I am extremely satisfied with the excellent selection of lecturers and the material provided.
I'm completely satisfied, and I found the course really useful for my daily work.
An excellent course, I would recommend it to colleagues for sure.
This online course provides expert insight into the challenges raised by mergers and acquisitions in the digital markets for competition professionals and policy makers.
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