Centre for Law, Economics and Society (CLES)


25 April 2017, London
Multi-Sided Platforms: Business, Economics & Competition Policy

12 May 2017, Amsterdam
Economic Evidence in Competition Law and the Future of the “More Economic” Approach

To view past events, please go to the events pages.


Contact Us

For general enquiries, please contact:

laws.research [at] ucl.ac.uk
+44 (0)20 3108 8484

For research project enquiries, please contact:

Professor Ioannis Lianos
+44 (0)20 3108 8346
i.lianos [at] ucl.ac.uk


Forthcoming events are listed below. Past events can be viewed here.

Organised by the UCL Centre for Law, Economics and Society and the UCL Jevons Institute for Competition Law and Economics

Tuesday 25 April 2017, 13:00 - 18:00

Multi-Sided Platforms: Business, Economics & Competition Policy

Speaker: Professor David Evans (UCL / University of Chicago)

About the course:
All of the “sharing-economy” firms, such as Uber, Airbnb, and BlaBlaCar, many of the biggest companies in the world, including Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, and many of the firms that lead the online economy are matchmakers. These businesses all operate physical or virtual platforms where they connect members of one group of customers, like people looking for a ride, with another group of companies, like drivers. Economists call them “multi-sided platforms” and have developed a new body of economics that explains how they work and why they are different from traditional firms.

Multi-sided platform businesses are often at the heart of debates concerning competition policy and sectoral regulation including, in the EU, the current on-line sectoral inquiry and the interchange fee controversies. Platforms have been the subject of several significant court judgments around the world including by the European Court of Justice in Cartes Bancaires v. European Commission, the Chinese Supreme Peoples’ Court in Qihoo360 v. Tencent, and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in U.S. Department of Justice v. American Express et al.

This course will cover the unique business models followed by multi-sided businesses; the economics of multi-sided platforms and the industries they anchor; the application of competition policy to multi-sided platforms; a survey of key competition policy and regulatory matters involving these platforms; and tools and techniques for competition policy analysis.

The course will include presentations from several executives of multi-sided platforms including incumbents and startups.

The course will consist of three segments:

  1. The Business and Economics of Multi-sided Platforms.
  2. Market Definition, Market Power, and Merger Analysis for Multi-sided Platforms
  3. Abuse of Dominance and Coordinated Practices for Multi-sided Platforms

The course will draw extensively on examples of multi-sided platform cases involving digital platforms and payment schemes drawn from the EU, US, China, and other jurisdictions.

Who should attend: 
The course mainly designed for specialists in competition policy and sectoral regulation (lawyers, economists, and officials) but should also be informative for anyone who works for, invests in, must interact with multi-sided platform businesses.

There are no pre-requisites for attending this course. Students are encouraged to purchase David S. Evans and Richard Schmalensee, Matchmakers: The New Economics of Multisided Platforms (Harvard Business Review Press, 2016). A suggested reading list will be distributed two weeks before the course.

Visit the event page to register and for further information.

Friday 12 May 2017, 08:45 - 18:30

Economic Evidence in Competition Law and the Future of the “More Economic” Approach

A one-day conference organised by UCL Centre for Law, Economics & Society and University of Groningen Faculty of Law

Supported by


About the event:

This conference will focus on a systematic analysis of the role of economic evidence in competition law proceedings. We will explore the way in which economic evidence has been used and has been assessed by courts and competition authorities, and how the increased role of economic evidence influences the functioning of institutions (both NCAs as well as national and European courts).

The increasing impact of economics on competition law is well documented. The main tenets and principles of competition law have witnessed a profound transformation following the systematic recourse to economics as an external source of authority. More than in any other field of law, competition law is intrinsically linked with the discipline of economics, as this is shown by the frequent references to economic concepts and the methodology of competition and regulatory authorities, the case law of the courts and the expanding soft law relating to the interpretation of the competition law and regulatory statutes. The increasing importance of private enforcement for competition law violations in national courts raises also important questions of proof and evaluation of damages.

While legal practitioners increasingly cooperate with economists in the preparation and assessment of competition law cases, judges and competition authorities are required to assess and weigh economic and econometric evidence drafted by (forensic) economists. Moreover, competition authorities have developed soft law guidelines discussing “best practices” for the submission and assessment of economic evidence in administrative and judicial proceedings. Hence, all actors in competition law practice are profoundly affected by the increasing and often pivotal role of economics in competition law.

At this conference, the transformative impact of economic analysis both on the law as such – in particular the rules of evidence, standard of proof, and causation – and legal institutions will be analysed by speakers who are global leaders in competition law and economics, and come from the Court of Justice and the General Court of the European Union, national courts, national competition authorities, the European Commission, practice, and academia.

Conference themes at a glance:

  • Economic evidence and the legal standard of proof
  • The transformation of institutions and procedures for a “more economics” oriented competition law enforcement: successes and failures?
  • Admissibility and assessment of economic evidence by courts and competition authorities: theory and practice
  • Causation, evaluation of damages and the passing on of overcharges
  • The future of the ‘more economic’ approach in competition law enforcement in Europe

Visit the event page to register and for further information, including confirmed speakers and a full programme.

Page last modified on 16 mar 17 13:22