UCL Faculty of Laws


The digital economy: economics, antitrust and regulation

07 June 2016, 9:30 am–1:00 pm

Digital Economy

Event Information

Open to



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


UCL Events Pavillion, Bloomsbury, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT

A three-hour CPD course on the Digital Economy

Speaker: Professor David Evans (UCL / University of Chicago)
Organised by the  Jevons Institute for Competition Law and Economics and the UCL Centre for Competition, Law & Society
Accreditation: 3 CPD hours

About the course

The digital economy has grown vast and now reaches almost every aspect of our lives. Whether consumer, business, or regulator we interact with Internet-based businesses constantly. It is also undergoing a massive transformation, with accompanying disruption, as the PC-web-browser centric ecosystem shifts to a mobile-app-centric ecosystem. That transformation has resulted in the “sharing economy,” the “gig-economy”, and the “app-economy” to use some of phrases that dominate today’s conversations.

This course will cover the unique business models followed by Internet-based companies; explore the changes in market structure that has taken place in the last few years as a result of the move to mobile; and consider some of the key competition policy and regulatory issues being debated today.

The course will consist of twelve short segments:

  1.  overview;
  2. technological forces;
  3. economic forces;
  4. wires, towers, and physical stuff;
  5. software platforms, APIs, and apps;
  6. economics of free;
  7. ad-support platforms and attention markets;
  8. marketplaces and online retail;
  9. mobile OSs and app stores;
  10. gig and sharing platforms;
  11. privacy and data; and
  12. the great transition from PC/browser to mobile/app.  Each segment will include an application to competition and regulatory policy for the digital economy using examples from the US, EU, and China.


The course will draw extensively on examples of competition policy cases involving the digital economy from the US, EU, and China and these will be included in each segment.

Who should attend

The course is mainly designed for professionals familiar with competition policy and sectoral regulation (lawyers, economists, and officials) but should also be informative for anyone who works for, invests in, must interact with digital economy businesses.

The course will run from 9:30-1:00pm.

At 1pm attendees are invited to stay for an hour long session in which Professor Evans will discuss his recent book, Matchmakers: The New Economics of Multisided Platforms which recently profile in The EconomistThe New York Times, and Wall Street Journal. Following his presentation, Will Page Chief Economist at Spotify, will talk about some applications of the ideas in the course and the book to Spotify, which has revolutionized the distribution of music online.

There are no pre-requisites for attending this course.

About the tutor

Professor David S. Evans has taught antitrust law and economics at the University of Chicago Law School (2006-present) where he is a Lecturer; University College London Faculty of Laws (2004-present) where he is Executive Director of the Jevons Institute for Competition Law and Economics and Visiting Professor; and Fordham Law School (1985-1995) where he was a Professor. He has BA, MA, and PhD degrees, all in economics, from the University of Chicago.

Dr. Evans has written on the economics of the digital economy since its birth more than twenty years ago.  He is a co-author, with Richard Schmalensee, of Matchmakers: The New Economics of Multisided Platforms (Harvard Business Review Press, 2016), which is based on his research over many years. According to Professor Lawrence Summers, former President of Harvard and U.S. Treasury Secretary, “More than the internet. the sharing economy or automation platform companies and matchmaking markets are defning the new economy. Evans and Schmalensee are pioneers in developing theories that explain this new economy.”  He has authored or co-authored six major books and more than 100 professional articles.

Dr. Evans has also served as an expert economist on the leading digital economy antitrust cases and consulted for many of the leading Internet-based companies around the world.  Most recently, he submitted influential testimony to the Chinese Supreme Peoples’ Court, in Qihoo v. Tencent, on behalf of Tencent. This was the first antitrust case decided by the high court in China. Dr. Evans worked as an expert for Microsoft on U.S. v. Microsoft and EC v. Microsoft  as well as a number of other high-profile digital economy matters.

Dr. Evans is the Chairman of Global Economics Group, where he provides expert help on litigation and regulation matters, and Founder of Market Platform Dynamics, where he provides business and strategic advice.