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Digital Economy: Economics, Antitrust, and Regulation

 |  April 19, 2022
Digital Economy

The 2022 Digital Economy course, taught by professors David S. Evans and Antonio Bavasso at UCL, provides an introduction to antitrust and regulation for the digital economy, drawing from leading global examples in light of the new regulatory frameworks.

Designed for those familiar with competition policy and sectoral regulation, the course is aimed for lawyers, economists, and officials. 

Dates and Venue:

  • Part 1 – 29 June 2022, 1:30 – 6:30pm
  • Part 2 – 21 September 2022, 1:30 – 6:30pm

at UCL’s Faculty of Laws, London and streamed globally.

Course Overview

The digital economy has grown vast and now reaches almost every aspect of our lives. Whether as consumer, business, or regulator we interact with internet-based businesses constantly. Yet 25 years in, the digital transformation has really only just begun. It is poised to sweep through and disrupt the physical economy over the coming decades with many green shoots appearing during the two pandemic years.

The digital economy, and in particular intermediaries that forge connections, are now the subject of investigations and cases, new or proposed regulations, with significant decided cases. The possibility that some intermediaries are essential “gatekeepers” with market power is a particular concern. Competition between digital ecosystems and within ecosystems is in constant evolution and so does our understanding of its dynamics.

This won’t let up: more issues will arise from new technologies and applications and more dominant firms will emerge that could pose concerns, spark a regulatory reaction and challenge the legal framework largely designed for the non-digital economy. While BigTech gets most of the publicity, competition authorities are dealing with a spectrum of cases involving less familiar names spread through the economy.

This course will cover the structure and economics of key sectors of the digital economy, such as online commerce, attention markets, and the gig and sharing economy.  It will do deep dives into the “digital economics” that competition policy professionals need to know, such as the economics of bottlenecks and gatekeepers, illustrated by leading antitrust and merger cases drawn worldwide and in light of the new regulatory frameworks, such as the Digital Markets Act, in the EU and elsewhere.

The course will be divided into nine modules presented in two 5-hour sessions (13:30-18:30 GMT) on separate days.  The course will be held for physical attendance at University College London. As in past years the course will be streamed to other locations, including competition authorities, where there will be a local facilitator.


  • Dr David S. Evans (Course Convenor)
    (Visiting Professor, UCL and Global Economics Group)
  • Antonio Bavasso
    (Visiting Professor, UCL and Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett)
  • Other speakers to be announced soon

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