Master of Public Policy  

Detecting market dominance and emerging digital sectors

The business model of digital platforms and the new digital sector in general are challenging the framework and tools applied by European regulators. Undetected market power could lead to underenforcement of competition policy to the detriment of consumers, it could also delay or minimise sectoral regulation to the detriment of citizens more broadly.

This course will contrast traditional approaches to measuring market power, such as market share, with new metrics such as market capitalisation, share of user attention, share of digital resources including bandwidth, as well as other metrics innovated by the students. It will cover the challenges of the European competition policy enforcement and question some of the narratives prevalent in the policy discussion on the digital economy, such as whether larger companies are always more efficient, this benefiting consumers, or whether consumers prefer more targeted advertising.

This is a project course focusing on the shortcomings of the existing analytical framework and on identifying areas of potential underenforcement or overenforcement. Students will help document, discover, and even innovate new measurements of market power in the kinds of markets described above. Students will work in research teams, each team focusing on a specific potential measurement, with the goal of producing publishable, theory- and practice-driven reviews and commentary. They will also be presenting tests of their new measures. There will be relatively few formal lectures and much more guidance of the teams by experienced researchers, one academic (Bryson) and one regulatory (Malikova).