1530 Competition Law in the Digital Economy
Univ.Prof. Dr. Viktoria H.S.E. Robertson, M.Jur.(Oxford)
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/20/23 to 09/30/23
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Tuesday 10/03/23 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM D4.0.047
Tuesday 10/10/23 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM TC.5.28
Tuesday 10/17/23 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM TC.5.28
Tuesday 10/24/23 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM Online-Einheit
Tuesday 11/07/23 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM TC.5.28
Tuesday 11/14/23 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM TC.5.28
Tuesday 11/21/23 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM TC.5.28
Tuesday 11/28/23 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM TC.4.28
Tuesday 12/05/23 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM TC.5.28
Tuesday 12/12/23 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM TC.5.28
Tuesday 12/19/23 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM TC.5.28

Competition law seeks to keep markets competitive for the ultimate benefit of customers and consumers. The digitalisation of markets, however, has led to an important number of challenges for competition law. With the rise of the so-called FANGs (Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Google) and other digital platforms, the question poses itself whether the traditional tools of competition law are still workable in the digital economy. Throughout the course, students get to know basic concepts of competition law and how these can be applied in – or need to be adapted to – the digital economy.

Topics covered:
•    Characteristics of digital markets
•    Defining the relevant market for competition law purposes in digital markets
•    The nature of market power in digital markets, especially in digital platforms
•    Anti-competitive agreements in the digital economy
•    Data-driven abuses in competition law
•    Zombie and killer acquisitions in the digital economy
•    Reports on competition law in the digital economy and policy recommendations


Learning outcomes

After completing this course, students are able to discuss the main challenges that digital markets pose for competition law and how these can be addressed. In particular, they are able to
•    understand the main characteristics of digital markets and these characteristics’ implications for competition law;
•    set out the main hurdles that defining the relevant antitrust market faces in the digital economy;
•    highlight the parameters for assessing the market power of digital platforms;
•    apply their knowledge of anti-competitive behaviour in digital markets to different sets of facts; and
•    join in policy discussions of how to adapt competition law in the digital economy.


Attendance requirements

Attendance: Students are expected to attend all sessions of the course. They may miss one session overall.

During the first session, students must be present. Students that have not notified the course convenor of their absence during the first session are de-registered from the course.

Teaching/learning method(s)

The course combines a traditional lecture – especially at the beginning of the course – with an array of interactive elements such as case studies presented by the students and group discussion of current issues in digital markets and competition law. Guest speakers from competition law practice allow the students a glimpse into how practitioners apply competition law in the digital economy.


•    Active participation in class (20%)
•    Presentation of a case study in groups (topics are allocated during the first session) (30%)
•    Open book exam at the end of the semester (50%)


87-100 points              Excellent (Sehr gut)
74-86.5 points             Good (Gut)
62-73.5 points             Satisfactory (Befriedigend)
50.5-61.5 points          Sufficient (Genügend)
0-50 points                  Fail (Nicht genügend)

Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists

The course is held in English. Good knowledge of the English language is required to actively participate in the class.

It is recommended that students have some basic knowledge of competition law (eg, through the PI “Wettbewerbs,- Kartell- und Immaterialgüterrecht”).

Registration for the course follows the rules of the curriculum. Places are allocated on a „first-come, first-served“ basis.

If you are registered for this course but can no longer participate, please de-register through LPIS during the registration period so other students can take your place.


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For this course, it is recommended to obtain a copy of the Kodex Competition Law (2022), which contains all relevant legal materials from EU competition law, US antitrust law and Austrian as well as German competition law.

A “Hörerschein” (discount) can be obtained by sending an email to

Teilnahme, Case Study und Prüfung

Students are asked to actively participate in the course by

(1) participating in classroom discussions [1 point per input; up to 10 points],

(2) preparing a short (~5min) overview of the digital antitrust news of the week [worth up to 10 points; no ppt or handout required] for one of the classes, and

(3) preparing and presenting a case study [worth up to 30 points]. The cases will be allocated during the first class. Presentations should be 15 minutes long and include a visual aide (ppt or handout).

Case studies shall include: (a) the facts of the case and the antitrust (legal) problem the case poses, (b) the relevant market at issue, (c) the market power assessment, (d) the problematic conduct, (e) the outcome of the case, and (f) a discussion question for the class.

The open book exam consists of a short case and a competition policy (essay) question. It will take place on campus, and students have 90 minutes to submit their answers. Up to 50 points are awarded for the exam. Students must work individually and may not collaborate during the exam.

Last edited: 2023-04-19