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Markets and Competition Policy



In economics several potential causes of market failure are distinguished: externalities, collective goods, imperfect competition and information asymmetries. This course is mainly concerned with one of these causes of market failure: imperfect competition. An important question is whether competition in the marketplace is restricted in such a way that it reduces economic welfare. To answer this question a number of concepts are required: the definition of the market, market power, abuse of dominance, horizontal agreements, vertical restraints, horizontal and non-horizontal mergers. Competition policy may contribute to economic welfare by preventing anticompetitive behaviour. This course is focused on the economic analysis European competition policy. After discussing economic theory, the theory is used to analyse cases (especially: decisions of the European Commission in competition cases).

Course objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Explain the content of economic concepts needed to analyze markets.

  • Analyze the consequences of restrictive practices and mergers.

  • Assess the consequences of competition policy in terms of efficiency.


On the Public Administration front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Blackboard.

Mode of instruction

The course consists of interactive seminars. Attendance and active participation is compulsory.

Course Load

Total course load 140 hours:

  • Hours spent on attending seminars 21 hours

  • Time four studying compulsory literature and completing assignments 119 hours

Assessment method

Grading will be based on a final written assignment (100%). Attendance and active participation in the seminars is required. Students have to hand in weekly assignments before the start of the seminar. Each assignment not received in time, will result in a reduction of 0.3 point from the final score.


Blackboard will be available one month before the start of the course.

Reading list

TBA, see blackboard.


Use both uSis and Blackboard to register for every course.

Register for every course and workgroup via uSis. Some courses and workgroups have a limited number of participants, so register on time (before the course starts). In uSis you can access your personal schedule and view your results. Registration in uSis is possible from four weeks before the start of the course.

Also register for every course in Blackboard. Important information about the course is posted there.


Peter van Wijck