Competition Law and Policy


In the global economy, competition law affects the business activity on a daily basis. Non-compliance may result in multi-million fines, voidness of an agreement as well as behavioural or structural remedies with significant impact for future business. The course focuses mostly on Swiss and EU competition laws. A brief comparative approach with US antitrust law might be taken occasionally, where instructive. The course uses an interdisciplinary method by integrating law and economics.
The course addresses the main features of competition law: market power, cartels between rivals, anti-competitive clauses in vertical distribution agreements, unilateral abuse of a dominant position, and merger control. In addition, it assesses the interface between intellectual property rights and competition law, as well as the relationship between antitrust and sector-specific regulation. While contemporary competition law rests on insights gained from economics, it is not devoid of other non-economic (political, social, environmental) considerations. Apart from substantive law, particular attention is devoted to enforcement by competition authorities: imposition of fines and criminal penalties against firms and individuals, considerations of due process rights in administrative and judicial procedures, as well as international cooperation between competition authorities in a multi-jurisdictional system. Alongside public enforcement, private litigation is increasingly important and often involves third-country jurisdictions, in particular the United States. All topics are examined in the light of significant recent case-law.
The last part of the course considers the public procurement law regime: the entities and contracts covered, the award procedures, the selection of bidders and the award criteria. It will highlight the regulatory mechanisms under which the state intervenes as an actor in a market economy.
Class time
Fall semester, Wednesday, 10:15-14:00, Room B 29.


15-minutes oral exam based on resolution of hypothetical case, with preparation time. The exam is closed book, which means that students may only rely on legislation and notes drafted during preparation. Computers, mobile phones and other electronic devices, as well as watches, are forbidden during the exams. Possession of an electronic device (even switched off) during the exam is considered as cheating.

Teaching and study materials

Syllabus, reader, textbook, course materials and additional information regarding the precise topics of the lectures and how to prepare for them are provided on the Moodle course website.