The business models of digital platforms and the new digital sector in general are challenging the frameworks and tools applied by regulators globally. Undetected market power could lead to under enforcement of competition policy to the detriment of consumers. It could also delay or minimise sectoral regulation to the detriment of citizens more broadly. Excessive market power, whether undetected or tolerated, may impact governance and the rule of law.
This course begins by contrasting traditional approaches to measuring market power such as market share and price sensitivity with new metrics such as market capitalisation and share of user attention. Extending from a course run in 2021, this course will not seek answers to the challenges of European competition policy enforcement in particular. We will question and seek to document some of the narratives prevalent in the policy discussion on the digital economy, such as whether larger companies are always more efficient or innovative, beneficial to consumers, or that consumers prefer their services, such as 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 be helping document, discover, and even innovate new measurements of market power and consumer harms. Students will work as research teams, each team exploring a specific potential measurement, with the goal of producing publishable, theory-and-practice driven reviews and commentary, to benefit and inform policy and enforcement. Slightly less than half of the contact hours consist of formal lectures. More emphasis is on guidance of the teams from the experienced researchers, one academic (Bryson) and one regulatory (Malikova).
This course is for 1st year MPP students only.