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Selected Topics in Industrial Organization and Competition Economics

Summer Term 2023 general topic: Competition and Mergers in Digital Markets

Deadline for application: April 6, 2023

Application form available here



   max. 10

Target group

   M.Sc. VWL; M.Sc. Economics






Requirements: Very good working knowledge of theoretical microeconomics. This seminar is recommended to students who have followed the courses Advanced Microeconomics I & II, Digital and Network Economics, and Industrial Organization


Qualification target: During the seminar, a specific topic in industrial organization and competition economics will be covered in depth, such that students gain a thorough understanding of this topic. They will learn how to approach a specialized field of study and how to write and present a seminar paper. These skills are particularly helpful for writing a Master thesis.


Examination type: Each student will be working on a specific article. Seminar participants have to write a seminar paper (circa 5,000 words plus equations), to do a presentation (25 min). In their seminar papers, participants should provide a critical discussion of the paper, notably in light of the existing literature, as well as an extension of the results.


Important dates:

  • Deadline for application: April 6, 2023
  • Acceptance decision and allocation of articles by April 12, 2023
  • Introductory meeting (mandatory): April 26, 2023, 12:00-14:00, room R 01 012 (Rempartstr. 16)
  • First individual meeting (to discuss extension ideas/structure of the seminar paper): May 2 and May 3, 2023 (prior booking required)
  • Second individual meeting (to discuss extension ideas/structure of the seminar paper): June 12 and June 13, 2023 (prior booking required)
  • Block seminar presentations and feedback: Early July 2023 (date TBD)
  • Submission of the final seminar paper: July 16, 2023



List of specific articles/topics:

  • Topic 1: Ichihashi, S. (2021): “Competing Data Intermediary,” RAND Journal of Economics.
  • Topic 2: Chen, Z., Choe, C., Cong, J. and N. Matsushima (2022): “Data-driven mergers and personalization,” RAND Journal of Economics.
  • Topic 3: Pruefer, J. and C. Schottmueller (2021): “Competing with Big Data,” Journal of Industrial Economics.
  • Topic 4: De Corniere, A. and G. Taylor (2021): “Data and Competition: a Simple Framework, with Applications to Mergers and Market Structure,” unpublished working paper.
  • Topic 5: Kamepalli, S.K., Raghuram, R. and L. Zingales (2022): “Kill Zone,” unpublished working paper.
  • Topic 6: Motta, M. and S. Shelegia (2021): “The “kill zone”: Copying, acquisition and start-ups’ direction of innovation,” unpublished working paper.
  • Topic 7: Bryan, K.A. and E. Hovenkamp (2020): “Antitrust Limits on Startup Acquisitions,” Review of Industrial Organization.
  • Topic 8: Motta, M. and M. Peitz (2021): “Big tech mergers,” Information Economics and Policy.
  • Topic 9: Katz, M. (2021): “Big-Tech Mergers: Innovation, Competition For The Market, And The Acquisition Of Emerging Competitors,” Information Economics and Policy.
  • Topic 10: Cabral, L. (2021): “Merger policy in digital industries,” Information Economics and Policy.


Note: All papers are available online (e.g. on or or on the authors’ personal websites) from the university or connecting via a VPN to the university’s network.


Background reading:

  • Motta, Massimo (2004): Competition Policy – Theory and Practice, CUP (Chapter 6)
  • Belleflamme, Paul and Martin Peitz (2015): Industrial Organization – Markets and Strategies, 2nd edition, CUP (Chapter 17)
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