Mission and Objectives

Digital Markets are a key priority in the context of competition policy in general and the European Union digital transformation.

Their essential features and main characteristics (such as big data, strong network effects, multi-sided platforms, zero or subsidized prices, controlled digital ecosystems, and switching costs for consumers) raise exceptional policy, legal and economic challenges.

In order to advance a new modernized approach to competition policy and enforcement when digital ecosystems are involved, the European University of Rome (EUR) will host a long-term (24 months) Networking and Training Course reserved to EU Judges (DiCo Project – Digital Markets and Competition Policy), organized in two separate editions and providing both e-learning and in-presence activities on Competition policy and law enforcement in digital markets.

More specifically, the DiCo Project, directed by Valeria Falce (Jean Monnet Chair in Digital Transformation and AI Policy as well as Professor of market Law and Regulation) and co-financed by the European Commission (Directorate General for Competition), consists of:

  1. Two residential interactive and networking editions to be respectively held in October 2023 and May 2024 in Rome
  2. Research activity on both scientific and a case-by-case approach, resulting in a volume on “A new competition agenda for digital markets”
  3. Creation of a dedicated website functioning as a main gate of information; dissemination of specific didactic materials, as well as a series of short video pills recollecting the issues of the training activities
  4. Tutoring activities for the duration of the Project through a dedicated platform (Teams).

The Project is addressed to:

  • National Judges dealing with competition law cases at national level
  • National judges interested in competitive issues in digital markets
  • Prosecutores, Apprentice National Judges, and the staff of the Judges’ Offices

Accepted applicants commit to participate in person to one residential and networking activity (two-day seminar either in Summer 2023 or in Summer 2024)

Participation in DiCo Project is free of charge. Travel and accommodation costs in Rome for the selected participants will be covered by the Project within the caps set at EU level.

Structure and Main topics

The overall Project is aimed at reinforcing national judges’ knowledge and interpretation of EU competition law, as well as providing them with adequate instruments for a proportionate and effective application, in the context of digital markets.

More broadly, the objective of the Project is to ensure a coherent and consistent application of EU competition law in the context of digital markets by national courts and to coherently apply the EU competition rules in the rapidly developing digital scenario, which has been equated to a new industrial revolution.

To this end, the DiCo Project comprises two separate editions, each one providing:

  • Two residential trainings (two and a half day each), to be held in Rome: focusing both on the theory(ies) of competition law and policy in the digital environment and on the most recent cases at EU level
  • Each training will be complemented through the organizations of working groups, mock-cases with a planned collective feedback session and case-oriented discussions in order to nourish an out-of- the-box perspective of the training participants
  • Tutoring Service providing with reading list about relevant Case-law, academic literature and other documents, including a glossary, and coordinating an online forum in order to promote e-debates between the National Judges

The main issues and topics covered by training course are:

  1. market definition in digital markets, including two or multisided markets, zero price markets
  2. assessment of market power and dominance in digital markets, (including direct and indirect network effects, dynamic efficiencies, importance of access to data, single- and multi-homing
  3. recent case law and decisional practice concerning digital markets and more generally potential theories of harm including new forms of collusion (use of algorithms), refusal to provide access to infrastructure (big data).