Antitrust in the Digital Economy (SC)

Information Introduction

LAW7801
Section 1, Fall 23

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 17/24
Credits: 1
Days Date Time Room

Thu

0820-0950 SL262

Fri

0820-0950 SL262

Mon

0820-0950 SL262

Wed

0820-0950 SL262

Thu

0820-0950 SL262

Mon

0820-0950 SL262

Wed

0820-0950 SL262

Thu

0820-0950 SL262

Course Description

This course addresses a defining legal issue of our age: how competition laws will apply to the giants of the digital economy. Tech platforms like Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google rank among the largest and most powerful companies in history, and are increasingly confronted with antitrust challenges based on their roles as online gatekeepers. However, the outcome of those claims is uncertain given conservative judicial interpretations of U.S. antitrust law over the last half-century. This uncertainty is elevated by the complexity of establishing antitrust violations against platforms that supply billions of consumers with goods and sophisticated online tools for low – and sometimes zero – financial prices, and provide millions of small and medium sized businesses with valuable online advertising and distribution services. This course investigates the dynamics of digital platform competition, including network effects, multi-sided markets, and winner-take-all market conditions. We will explore the antitrust implications of various forms of dominant platform behaviors, including alleged exclusion and predation, acquisition of potential or nascent competitors, and self-preferencing of platform “house brands” over third-party products. We will also examine cases of alleged collusion in the tech platform context, as well as some emerging antitrust implications of artificial intelligence, including price-setting algorithms that can price discriminate between buyers or coordinate prices among competing sellers. In addition, we will explore the potential relationship between antitrust law and platform-related issues like consumer privacy, “big data,” filter bubbles, toxic content, and challenges to liberal democratic values. Finally, we will consider legislative reforms and other remedies being considered in response to platform dominance. Our class sessions will be interactive and engaging, featuring extensive visual aids, discussion questions circulated before class, and small-group exercises. Course materials draw on a rich body of recent cases, regulatory proceedings, legislative proposals, and expert commentary.

Course Requirements

Exam Information

Final Type (if any): Flex

Description: A flex exam will be required to be taken at the law school from Oct. 27-Nov. 10th.

Other Work

Grading will be based in part on attendance and in-class contributions.

Other Course Details

Prerequisites: Students should take Antitrust before or concurrently with this class. Students seeking a waiver must have the professor send a written authorization to the Student Records Office (SRO). Concurrencies: (Antitrust (7005))

Exclusive With: None

Laptops Allowed: Yes

First Day Attendance Required: Yes

Course Resources: To be announced.

Graduation Requirements

Satisfies Understanding Bias/Racism/Cross-Cultural Competency requirement: No

Satisfies Writing Requirement: No

Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No

Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

Additional Course Information

Schedule No.: 123820850

Modified Type: UVA Law Seminar

Cross Listed: No

Concentrations: Intellectual Property , Law and Technology

Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Friday, October 20, 12:01 AM

Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Saturday, October 28, 11:59 PM

Information reflected on this page was last refreshed at: Friday, February 23, 2024 - 7:04 AM *

*During open enrollment periods, live enrollment data may be found in SIS.