ICN Curriculum Project
The mission of the ICN Curriculum Project is to create a comprehensive curriculum of training materials to serve as a virtual university on competition law and practice for competition agency officials. Training modules, consisting of video lectures and accompanying materials from a diverse group of international academics and practitioners, will provide an on-line interactive educational center for competition authorities from around the world.
A total of thirteen full modules were released at the 2011 through 2014 annual conferences. They are organized by subject matter, including competition policy fundamentals, horizontal restraints, dominant firm conduct, mergers, competitiion advocacy, and investigational techniques. Complementing these modules are several "sort form" presentations prepared for the ICN by academics, agency officials, and non-government advisors, which can be found at the end of each series.
This module explores the development and content of competition policy systems. The presentation provides an overview of the history of competition law and describes the purposes, goals, and key elements of competition laws.
This module covers the basic characteristics of competition policy systems, including the institutional features and choices that affect the enforcement of competition law. Presentations by agency experts highlight both the diversity and unifying elements of competition law systems around the world.
This module explores the role and importance of market definition in competition law investigations, including key elements such as the SSNIP analysis and the information that agencies evaluate to determine antitrust markets.
This module addresses the concept of market power, central to the analysis of competition law investigations in unilateral conduct and mergers. The video includes an overview of practical techniques and the analytical tools that agencies use to determine if a firm has market power.
This module covers the law and economics of competitive effects and presents the elements of an effects-based approach to competition law enforcement. The video includes a hypothetical study of a loyalty rebates scenario to illustrate the principles of an effects-based approach.
This module addresses problems specific to competition agencies in developing countries, such as lack of resources and inadequate support for competition policy elsewhere in government or in civil society. It features two scenarios illustrating common problems and comments from past and present agency heads.
Short-form presentations on competition fundamentals:
- Economics of Dominance prepared for the ICN by Gilbert Muzata
This presentation contains a brief introduction to the economics of dominance, which may be useful in assessing both merger and non-merger cases.
Module II-1: Introduction to Cartels (COMING SOON)
This module includes the definition of a cartel, essential attributes of an effective anti-cartel program, deterrent sanctions, detection, leniency, investigational techniques, transparency, and awareness and outreach.
This module introduces the concept of leniency programs for anti-cartel enforcement. The module presents the cornerstones and benefits of an effective leniency program, the procedural aspects of a leniency program, and how leniency interacts with sanctions in a cartel enforcement action.
This module presents predatory pricing by a dominant firm. Experts discuss the basic elements and economics of a predatory pricing theory and discuss a hypothetical case.
This module presents the competition enforcement topic of exclusive dealing by a dominant firm. Experts discuss the basic elements and economics of exclusive dealing.
Short-form presentations on dominant firm conduct:
- Resale Price Maintenance prepared for the ICN by Paul Nihoul
This short-form presentation addresses resale price maintenance, examining both the U.S. and European approaches to this issue.
- Territorial Exclusivity prepared for the ICN by Sandra Marco Colina (COMING SOON)
This short-form presentation provides justifications for and against treating territorial exclusivity as a violation of competition law.
This module addresses competition agency merger investigation, drawing upon concepts from the modules on market definition and market power in the merger context. The video uses a hypothetical merger to demonstrate the practical techniques agencies use to investigate a merger, including how to plan a merger investigation and how to obtain and evaluate relevant evidence.
This module discusses the importance of competititon advocacy as a tool for addressing anticompetitive regulations and policies proposed by other governmental actors. It includes a hypothetical case study, together with suggestions for the design of an effective advocacy program by current and former enforcement officials.
Short-form presentation on competition advocacy:
- Market Inquiries prepared for the ICN by Kasturi Moodaliyar & Keith Weeks
This short-form presentation discusses the rationale for, techniques behind, and uses of market studies by competition agencies.
This module presents the fundamental steps of conduting an investigation of potential competition law violations. The steps discussed include developing a theory of the case, identifying sources of information, interviewing witnesses, requesting documents and data, organizing and assessing evidence, and determining whether there is a violation.
Short-form presentation on investigational techniques:
- Preservation of Confidential Information, prepared for the ICN by William E. Kovacic (COMING SOON)
This short-form module explores considerations needed to preserve confidential information and thus contribute to the integrity of agency processes.
In the coming year, the ICN will develop additional training modules on topics that will be identified. Each module will discuss the subject area in a conceptual and practical manner in order to assist competition agency officials in learning and implementing competition principles.
A short brochure describing the project, suitable for distribution to interested persons, can be found here.
Randy Tritell, Director, Office of International Affairs, US Federal Trade Commission
Russell Damtoft, Office of International Affairs, US Federal Trade Commission