Competition Law

Competition law polices markets. It proscribes “bad” business conduct. That is business conduct that by purpose or effect injures the competitive process and, in turn, reduces consumer welfare. A century ago, injurious forms of anticompetitive conduct were cartels, predatory pricing, and mergers to monopoly. Today, consumer harms are more diverse, reflecting deeper changes in the economy, technology, and the political philosophy of liberal democracies. 

The EUI Ph.D. program in competition law wants to be a home for inquisitive minds. We welcome research proposals with a doctrinal – what the law is – or normative –what the law should be – ambition. Our research ethos is close to legal realism. We are interested in the truth. We encourage, and train, researchers to work based on hypotheses, to develop empirical testing methods (qualitative and quantitative), and to engage with the academic and policy debate. We firmly believe in the merits of interdisciplinarity, and support openness to fields like economics (political economy, IO and law & economics), business and management science, and innovation and entrepreneurship literature. A tentative list of hard questions of competition policy for future research is available here.

Around a dozen Ph.D. researchers work in competition law at any one time, and over fifty dissertations have been defended successfully in this field, many being subsequently published as monographs or collection of articles. PhD. researchers run a competition law-working group, which is a regular meet-up for book discussions, researcher’s presentations and invitations of external guests.

In close connection with the economics department, the Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies (RSCAS), and the Florence School of Regulation (FSR), the law department of the EUI hosts many events, workshops, and seminars on competition policy, allowing all EUI researchers to engage with the broader competition community (and vice versa). 

Since 1996, The EUI has hosted an annual Workshop on Competition Law and Policy. This workshop was initiated by Claus-Dieter Ehlermann and Giuliano Amato and serves as an influential forum for debate on issues of contemporary importance bringing together scholars, practitioners, enforcers, and judges.

Together with the RSCAS, the Florence Competition Programme (“FCP”) has been established in 2011. The FCP provides training programs for judges and practitioners. Also, it holds regular workshops with stakeholders.

In 2020, the EUI created a broad cluster on Technological Change and Society. One workstream of the cluster focuses on how new technologies affect market competition. The cluster has a broad interdisciplinary ambition bringing together STEM science, humanities, and policy-making communities.

Since 2014, the EUI convenes the Rome Antitrust Forum. The Forum brings together distinguished antitrust practitioners (both lawyers and economists), leading figures in antitrust enforcement from abroad, and representatives of the Italian Competition Authority to discuss, on a non-attributable basis, how the Italian system of antitrust enforcement operates. 

Ongoing research-oriented projects include work on dynamic capabilities, organizational economics, complexity economics, innovation theory, and competition policy. One area of inquiry tries to understand if and how digital technology produces increases in competitive pressure, despite documented losses in rivalry and rising market concentration. The ultimate, long term ambition is to build a framework that diagnoses, and fills in, the missing foundations of received theory of antitrust and competition theory including by study of the role of managers, factor markets (capital and labor), technology, uncertainty, and the long term in economic competition.

For a more detailed indication of the supervisory interests of Prof. Petit, please click on his website:


For a more detailed indication of the supervisory interests of Prof. Petit, please click on his website:


Page last updated on 06 April 2021

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