Multi-Sided Platforms: Business, Economics and Competition Policy

  • 5 hours
  • 1 day


This one-day course looks at the unique business models followed by multi-sided platform businesses (MSPs). It's aimed at those working in competition policy and sectoral regulation.

Multi-sided platform businesses are 'matchmakers', connecting members of one group of customers, e.g. people looking for a ride, with another group of companies, e.g. drivers. They can operate through either physical or virtual platforms.

These types of business are often at the heart of debates concerning competition policy and sectoral regulation, and have been the subject of several significant court judgements around the world.

On this course you'll learn about:

  • the economics of multi-sided platforms and the industries they anchor
  • the application of competition policy to multi-sided platforms
  • key competition policy and regulatory matters involving these platforms
  • tools and techniques for competition policy analysis

This course is run by the UCL Centre for Law, Economics and Society and the UCL Jevons Institute for Competition Law and Economics.

Course content and structure 

The course is in three parts:

  • The business and economics of multi-sided platforms
  • Market definition, market power and merger analysis for multi-sided platforms
  • Abuse of dominance and coordinated practices for multi-sided platforms

You'll hear presentations from several executives of multi-sided platforms including incumbents and startups.

Examples of multi-sided platform cases involving digital platforms and payment schemes from the EU, US, China and other jurisdictions will be used throughout the course.

Who this course is for

The course has been designed for specialists in competition policy and sectoral regulation (lawyers, economists and officials).

It will also be of interest to anyone who works for, invests in, or must interact with multi-sided platform businesses.

There are no pre-requisites for attending this course.

Recommended reading

You're encouraged to purchase Matchmakers: The New Economics of Multisided Platforms by David S. Evans and Richard Schmalensee (Harvard Business Review Press, 2016).

A suggested reading list will be distributed two weeks before the course.

Cost and concessions

The fees are:

  • £200 - standard cost
  • £175 - UCL alumni
  • £80 - full-time academic or government employee
  • £40 - non-UCL student
  • Free - UCL students

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Course team

Professor David Evans

David has taught antitrust law and economics at UCL's Faculty of Laws since 2004, where he is Executive Director of the Jevons Institute for Competition Law and Economics and Visiting Professor. He's also a lecturer at University of Chicago Law School and was a Professor at Fordham Law School (1985-1995).

Course information last modified: 17 Feb 2017, 16:10