Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Matteo Alvisi

  • Credits 6

  • SSD SECS-P/01

  • Language English

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Law and Economics (cod. 9221)

  • Course Timetable from Apr 20, 2020 to May 19, 2020


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Industry, innovation and infrastructure Reduced inequalities Peace, justice and strong institutions Partnerships for the goals

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

This course studies the economics of competition and antitrust, with a special focus on financial, banking and insurance markets. Students learn how to define the relevant markets; how to measure the market power of agents and the degree of market concentration. They are then introduced to the major antitrust violations and the typical measures taken to stop competition harming behavior (from price fixing to abuse of dominance). They consider antitrust implications of network interconnectedness in different segments of financial markets (included payment systems) The economic analysis of merger regulation is also examined. At the end of the course, the student knows how to apply the most important economic models to antitrust cases, and knows how to use rigorous models in the analysis of competition policy issues.

Course contents

1. Introduction to competition policy: definition, history, and the law

Definition of competition policy

History of competition policy in the EU and in the US

Structure of EU competition Rules

Introduction to Art 101 TFEU, Art 102 TFEU, ECMR

Objectives of Competition Policy

2. Market power and Welfare

Definition of market power

Allocative efficiency, productive efficiency, and dynamic efficiency

Public policies and incentives to innovate

The validity of the competition paradigm of antitrust for the financial and insurance sector: the “too big to fail” argument

3. Market definition and the assessment of market power

The definition of the relevant market.

Relevant markets in the banking system.

Concentration Ratios and market power

4. Art 101 TFEU : Collusion and Horizontal Agreements

Horizontal agreements

Collusion: an economic definition

The sustainability of collusion in a repeated game

Factors that facilitate collusion

Competition policies against collusion

The Antitrust implications of network interconnectedness in financial markets: the case of payment systems

5. Horizontal mergers

Unilateral effects

Pro-collusive effects

Remedies: structural and behavioral remedies

Merger policy in the EU

An antitrust analysis of US health insurance markets

6. Vertical mergers

Intra-brand competition

Inter-brand competition

Anti-competitive effects

7. Predation, monopolization, and other abusive practices

Predatory pricing

Non-price monopolization: strategic investment, bundling, tying, incompatibility, exclusive contracts

Price discrimination


M. Motta (2004), Competition Policy. Theory and Practice. New York, Cambridge University Press.

Other material and readings might be added or distributed during the course.

Teaching methods

 Lectures and interactive discussion of antitrust cases in class. Students are advised to read the material before the class comes. The material for each lecture will be indicated in the detailed calendar published on the official website (see https://www.unibo.it/sitoweb/m.alvisi/didattica) at the beginning of the course.

Assessment methods

Students attending lectures

Final written exam, 75 minutes long, consisting of a series of 8 open questions on the whole program requiring brief answers.

Presentation in class of an antitrust case, chosen with the help of the professor by the end of the second week of the course. The presentation can be prepared in collaboration with two fellow students at most.

The final written exam counts for 70% of the total course grade. The presentation counts for the remaining 30%.

Students not attending lectures

Final written exam, 1 hour 45 minutes long, consisting of a series of 16 open questions on the whole program requiring brief answers. Sample questions will be available on the aforementioned website before the end of the course.

Teaching tools

Slides and other material will be available on the website

Office hours

See the website of Matteo Alvisi