The development of the Internet has affected all economic sectors: new markets have emerged and old markets have been transformed deeply. It has had a large impact on how people communicate, trade goods and services, and interact in their professional and social life. Issues that seemed settled in the “old economy” have now to be looked at under a different light.

Among the covered topics:

How can we deal with vertical restraints in the e-commerce? What are the competitive effects of platform parity pricing policies? Does the transparency brought about by the Internet foster competition or increase the risk of collusive behavior? What are the effects of new media on consumer welfare both in the short and in the long run? Is consumer surplus negatively affected by the concentration in the control over personal data?

The sixth edition of the Lear Conference will focus on how this influence is shaping the economic practice, the way firms compete and antitrust enforcement. The conference will cover a wide range of related topics, such as competition among electronic platforms, access to personal data, vertical restraints in e-commerce, competition in search engine market, and across-platform parity agreements, among others.

By bringing together a number of excellent speakers in the field, the Lear Conference 2015 will promote a thorough and lively discussion on these crucial topics.


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David Abecassis is a Principal in Analysys Mason’s London office, and leads much of our Internet-related work. Over the last two years, he has authored a number of reports investigating the economics of consumer data, through a report for Ofcom (the UK telecoms and media regulator), two reports on data-driven innovation in Singapore and Japan commissioned by Google, and an ongoing piece of research for the CMA, the UK competition and consumer protection authority. Since joining Analysys Mason in 2004, David has led assignments covering all aspects for telecoms and media, with a particular focus on economic regulation and competition. David has an engineering degree from Telecom ParisTech and a Management diploma from Imperial College London.


Svend Albæk is Deputy Chief Economist in the European Commission’s Competition Directorate-General. He joined the Commission in 1998, working first for two years in the unit in the Industry Directorate-General dealing with industrial aspects of competition policy before moving to the Merger Task Force in DG Competition in 2000. In the MTF he was involved in several Phase II merger investigations, coordinated the MTF’s Centre for Excellence in Economics, and was a main author of the Commission’s horizontal merger guidelines. He then moved to the Antitrust Policy and Strategic Support Unit where he worked on the Commission’s Article 82 Review until joining the Chief Economist Team in 2007. In the CET Svend has worked on merger and antitrust cases as well as the revision of the horizontal agreements guidelines. Presently he coordinates the work of the CET in the field of antitrust.
From 1992 to 1997 Svend was associate professor of economics at the University of Copenhagen, where he taught industrial economics. He has done research at University of Aarhus, UCLA, the European University Institute and Tilburg University, and published articles in Journal of Industrial Economics, Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, International Journal of Industrial Organization, Scandinavian Journal of Economics, European Competition Law Review, Antitrust Bulletin, Review of Industrial Organization, Journal of Competition Law and Economics, and other international journals.


Elena Argentesi is a tenured assistant professor of economics at the Department of Economics of the University of Bologna and she is senior advisor at Lear. She earned a Ph.D. in Economics at the European University Institute in 2005 with a thesis on an empirical analysis of two-sided markets. During her Ph.D., she spent a year as a visiting fellow at the IDEI in Toulouse. Her research interests and publications are in the area of industrial organization and competition policy, with a focus on empirical issues. She has done consultancy work as a technical expert for several public bodies, such as DG Competition, the World Bank, and other competition agencies.


Susan Athey is the Economics of Technology Professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Her current research focuses on the economics of the Internet, marketplace design, auction theory, the statistical analysis of auction data, and the intersection of econometrics and machine learning. She has focused on several applications, including timber auctions, Internet search, online advertising, the news media, and virtual currency. She advises governments and businesses on the design of auction-based marketplaces. She has served as a long-term consultant for Microsoft Corporation since 2007, including a period as chief economist. She also serves as a long-term advisor to the British Columbia Ministry of Forests, helping to architect and implement their auction-based pricing system. She previously taught at the economics departments at MIT, Stanford and Harvard. She received her bachelor’s degree from Duke University and her PhD from Stanford, and she holds an honorary doctorate from Duke University.


Paolo Buccirossi is the Director and the founder of Lear . Paolo has been working in the field of competition policy since 1994. After five years as economic advisor at the Italian Competition Authority, in 1999 Paolo set up Lear. Since then he has advised private clients and public institutions on a wide range of competition issues, including cartels, abuses of dominance, vertical agreements and mergers in a variety of industries, before the European Commission and several national competition authorities.
Among other clients, Paolo has assisted the following companies: Shell, ENI, WIND, Bayer, Buena Vista International, Schindler, Granarolo, Procter & Gamble, Carnival Corporation, RTI, Numico, Unilever and Mediaset. Moreover, Paolo has prepared witness statements in private litigation cases and assisted clients during regulatory reviews, mostly in the telecoms and media sectors.
Paolo has also cooperated with the Bulgarian and the Lithuanian governments in the implementation of a national competition policy regime and has advised the Dutch and the Czech Competition Authorities on their system of sanctions for breaches of competition law. In addition, he has led several research projects for the European Commission, the OFT, the UK Competition Commission and the Brazilian CADE.
Paolo has published on several academic journals as the Journal of Public Economics, the Journal of Industrial Economics, the Review of Economics and Statistics, and the Journal of Regulatory Economics, and has been the editor of the Handbook of Antitrust Economics (MIT Press). He holds an MSc in Public Economics and a Ph.D. in Economics awarded from University La Sapienza (Rome, Italy). Paolo has been Visiting Scholar at George Mason University, New York University and Cambridge University. He also teaches Economics of Competition Law at the University of Rome Tor Vergata.


Emilio Calvano is a young researcher in the field of economics. He currently teaches and conducts research at the Center for Studies in Economics and Finance, while he has previously taught Microeconomics and Competition Policy at Bocconi University. In 2009 he won a prestigious 4-year research grant from Unicredit Group to be spent in a European institution of his choice. He moved to the United States where he conducted research and worked at Harvard University and Microsoft Research. He graduated in Economics from Bocconi University and he holds a PhD from Toulouse University. Emilio is an applied theoretical economist whose research mainly focuses on the theory of industrial organization. His research interests also include the economics of organization, competition policy and market design.


Lorenzo joined the EBRD in 2012 to work as an economist in the Office of the Chief Economist. He works on the assessment of the transition challenges in the Bank’s countries of operation, with a focus on the analysis of competition and trade related issues. He leads the technical cooperation work focused on the area competition policy. Lorenzo has previously worked at Lear, Laboratory of Antitrust, Economics and Regulation. There, he advised clients on a number of cases, ranging from exclusive dealing and state aid evaluation, to mergers and cartels. Lorenzo has worked on several policy reports prepared by for international institutions, including DG-Ecfin, DG-Comp, the UK Competition Commission and OFT. He holds an MSc in Economics from Bocconi University and a PhD in economics from the European University Institute. He published in major international journals, including the ReStat and the Journal of Industrial Economics.


Kate Collyer is Deputy Chief Economic Adviser at the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), where she is responsible for overseeing the work of the economics profession in the CMA’s market and merger investigations. Kate was Director of Economics in the Competition Commission where she provided economic advice on a wide range of market and merger investigations in many different sectors in the UK. Before joining the Competition Commission, Kate was Director of Economics and Deputy Director at the Cooperation and Competition Panel (CCP) (now Monitor). At the CCP Kate led a large number of merger and competition investigations in the NHS and her research on hospital choice and merger simulation has been published in the Economic Journal. Kate has also worked as an economic consultant advising on antitrust and merger investigations in a range of sectors in the UK, Europe and US.

de Cornière

Alexandre de Cornière is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Nuffield College, University of Oxford, where he teaches Competition Policy and Industrial Organization. He conducts research on topics related to the economics of the internet, advertising and media markets. His research has appeared in the RAND Journal of Economics.
Prior to joining the University of Oxford in 2012, Alexandre obtained his Ph.D. in Economics at the Paris School of Economics. He also studied at the École Normale Supérieure de Cachan and at the École Nationale de Statistique et d’Administration Économique (ENSAE) in Paris.
In September 2015, he will join the Toulouse School of Economics as an Assistant Professor of Economics.


Marco D’Ostuni is a partner at the law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, based in the Rome office.
He focuses on competition law, regulation in the telecommunications, media and energy sectors, and related litigation. He has represented clients before the EU Commission and the Italian Competition Authority in antitrust, state aid and merger proceedings; before the Italian Communications Authority (AgCom) and the Italian Energy Authority in investigations and disputes on contractual or regulatory matters; and before civil and administrative courts in arbitration or litigation cases mainly involving antitrust or regulation issues. He is an author of several publications on antitrust and regulation matters.
Marco D’Ostuni graduated with honors from the Naples University Law School and holds LL.M.s from the College of Europe of Bruges (Best Advocate General Prize in the 1998 European Law Moot Court Competition, awarded by the European Court of Justice) and from the Columbia University School of Law (Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, Fulbright Scholar) and a Ph.D. in competition law from the University of Perugia, Italy. He is a member of the Rome and New York Bars.


John Fingleton was Chief Executive of the Office of Fair Trading from 2005 to 2012, having previously run the Irish Competition Authority. As an academic economist at the London School of Economics, Trinity College Dublin and the University of Chicago, he wrote and taught game theory, economics of industry and regulation. In government, he oversaw merger regulation, enforcement of competition rules, consumer protection, and credit regulation. He has been a strong advocate for the removal of government restrictions on competition and supply side reforms to improve productivity growth. John is a member of the World Economic Forum Council on Emerging Multinationals, a member of the Policy Advisory Board at the Social Market Foundation, and a Trustee at Kaleidoscope


Sven-Olof Fridolfsson is the Deputy Chief Economist of Konkurrensverket, the Swedish Competition Authority, and holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Stockholm. Before joining Konkurrensverket, he worked for more than ten years at the Research Institute of Industrial Economics in Stockholm, Sweden. He has also been visiting scholar at UC Berkeley and the Toulouse School of Economics. His main research field is industrial organization with a focus on antitrust, M&A:s, merger control and energy markets, and he has published in academic journals such as the Journal of the European Economic Association and the Rand Journal of Economics.


Joshua Gans is a Professor of Strategic Management and holder of the Jeffrey S. Skoll Chair of Technical Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto (with a cross appointment in the Department of Economics). Since 2013, he has also been Area Coordinator of Strategic Management. Prior to 2011, he was the foundation Professor of Management (Information Economics) at the Melbourne Business School, University of Melbourne and prior to that he was at the School of Economics, University of New South Wales. In 2011, Joshua was a visiting researcher at Microsoft Research (New England). Joshua holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University and an honors degree in economics from the University of Queensland. In 2012, Joshua was appointed as a Research Associate of the NBER in the Productivity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program.


Damien Geradin is professor of law at George Mason University and professor of Competition Law & Economics at Tilburg University.
He teaches and writes in the areas of antitrust law, intellectual property, and regulated industries. He has published extensively on the application of antitrust in the high technology sector with a focus on licensing issues. He is the co-author of the leading treatise Global Antitrust Law & Economics (Foundation Press, 2nd ed., 2012) and EU Competition Law & Economics (Oxford University Press, 2012). He is also the co-editor of the Journal of Competition Law & Economics (Oxford University Press).
Professor Geradin graduated magna cum laude from the University of Liège in Belgium. He then obtained an LL.M. from King’s College and a Ph.D. from Cambridge University. He was a Fulbright visiting lecturer at Yale Law School and held visiting Professorships at Columbia Law School, Harvard Law School, Michigan Law School, Peking University, and UCLA School of Law. Immediately prior to joining George Mason, he was a William W. Cook Global Law Professor at the University of Michigan Law School.


Justus Haucap holds a chair for competition theory and policy at the University of Düsseldorf, Germany, where he is, since August 2009, the founding director of the Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE). From 2006 to 2014 Haucap has also been a member of the German Monopolies Commission, which advises the German Federal Government on competition policy and market regulation issues. He has chaired the Commission from 2008 to 2012. As a member of the commission Haucap has co-authored more than 20 reports to the German Federal Government.
Since 2015 he is a member of the scientific advisory board of the Federal Network Agency, the German regulator of network industries. Previously Justus Haucap held positions at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, the University of Bochum, the University of the German Federal Armed Forces in Hamburg and the New Zealand Treasury.
Haucap holds a Diploma and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Saarland, Germany, following studies in Saarbrücken, Michigan (Ann Arbor) and Berkeley (California). He publishes widely on both competition policy and regulation of network industries (such as telecommunications, electricity, gas, media) in journals such as the Economic Journal, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Research Policy, Telecommunications Policy, Journal of Media Economics, and the Energy Journal, among others.
Haucap has advised several private companies and public organizations such as Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Telecom New Zealand, 2degrees New Zealand, Orange Suisse, Telekom Austria, RWE, eon, Verbund AG, Deutsche Bahn, Betfair, Uber, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the European Parliament, the Federal Network Agency, and the German Ministry for Economics and Energy.


Alberto Heimler is professor of economics at the Italian School of Government, on leave from the Italian competition Authority where he was in charge of research and international affairs. He is the Chairman of the Working Party on Competition and Regulation of the Competition Committee of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). He was a member of the Steering Group of the International Competition Network (ICN) and co-chair of a number of ICN working groups. His academic articles on antitrust enforcement and regulation have appeared in the leading journals of the field.


Ali Hortaçsu is a Professor of Economics and the College at the University of Chicago, and is also the Director of Graduate Studies and Co-Director of Admissions for the Economics Department. He has also and held visiting appointments at Harvard University, Yale University and Northwestern University.
Professor Hortaçsu is an expert in multiple economic fields. His primary area of research is industrial organization, with an emphasis on theoretical and empirical analyses of auctions, two-sided matching mechanisms, markets with search frictions, reputation mechanisms, and vertical contracting. The main application areas of his research are the Internet (including auctions and online search and matching models), securities markets (treasury auctions and the mutual fund industry), energy markets (especially electricity), and the cement and concrete industries.
He is and has been on the editorial boards of several leading journals, including currently as Co-Editor of the RAND Journal of Economics and Associate Editor for the American Economic Review and Journal of Business and Economic Statistics. He previously served as a Co-Editor of the International Journal of Industrial Organization, Associate Editor of theJournal of Industrial Economics, and on the editorial board of Quantitative Marketing and Economics. Professor Hortaçsu received his BS and MS in electrical engineering, and his PhD in economics from Stanford University.


Michael Katz has taught at Berkeley since 1987. He holds the Sarin Chair in Strategy and Leadership and professorships in both the Economics Department and the Haas School of Business, where he is a member of the Economic Analysis and Policy Group. Professor Katz has served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Economic Analysis in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice; Chief Economist at the Federal Communications Commission, where he received the Chairman’s Special Achievement Award; and Assistant Professor of Economics at Princeton University. He is a two-time recipient of the Earl F. Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching and was an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow. He received his Ph.D. from Oxford University.


Jonathan Levin is the Holbrook Working Professor of Price Theory at Stanford University, and Chair of the Department of Economics. He is also Professor by Courtesy in the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. His research is in the field of industrial organization, particularly the economics of contracting, organizations, and market design. His current research interests include internet platforms, auction design, and the health care system. Levin received the American Economic Association’s John Bates Clark Medal in 2011 as the economist under the age of forty who has made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Guggenheim Fellow, and the winner of department and school-wide teaching awards. He is an elected member of the AEA’s Executive Committee, and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. Levin earned undergraduate degrees in Math and English from Stanford, an M.Phil. in Economics from Oxford University, and a Ph.D. in Economics from M.I.T. He lives in Palo Alto, California with his wife and three children.


Preston McAfee is currently Corporate Vice President, Chief Economist at Microsoft. He is a world-class researcher in micro-economics and marketplace design who brings to Microsoft a unique blend of research depth combined with real-world applicability.
Previously, he was an economist at Google and Chief Economist at Yahoo!, where he originally led the Microeconomics and Social Systems group. Before that, he was the J. Stanley Johnson Professor of Business, Economics, and Management at the California Institute of Technology, where he was the executive officer for the social sciences. He has taught business strategy, managerial economics, and introductory microeconomics.
McAfee has published over one hundred scholarly articles that have collectively been cited thousands of times. His research has concentrated on microeconomics and industrial organization, on topics such as auctions, bundling, price discrimination, antitrust, contracting, and mechanism design. More recently, he has been publishing research at the interface between microeconomics and computer science.


Antonio Nicita is Commissioner of the Italian regulatory authority (AGCOM) and Professor of Economic Policy at the Department of Economics and Law at Sapienza University of Rome, has been Associate Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Siena, he was Visiting Fulbright Professor at Yale University. In 2005-06 he was a Non Governmental Adviser of International Competition Network (ICN) for the report on telecommunications sector. He is on the Board of Directors of the Italian Society of Law and Economics, European Association of Law and Economics and of the International Society for New Istitutional Economics (ISNIE). In 2006-07 he was an economic adviser to the Italian Minister of Communications and member of the Governamental Unit for the Improvement of Regulation. He was Economic Adviser for the 2009 OECD Regulatory Report on Italy.
He holds a Ph.D in Economics form the University of Siena, Italy.
His research interests cover Industrial organization, Law and Economics, Competition Economics and Regulation. He is the author of numerous publications which can be accessed via


Director General for Competition of the Italian Competition Authority, where  he  has  worked  since  1993  as  head  of  the  Investigative Directorate  “Food,  Pharmaceutical  and  Transport”  and  as  Chief Economist.

He  teaches  Competition  Issues  at  the  University  of  Tor  Vergata  in Rome. He was also lecturer of Competition Policy at the University La Sapienza in Rome and at the University of Macerata.

Previously  he  was  head  of  the  Industrial  Policy  Unit  of  Centro Europa Ricerche and senior economist at the Research Department of Istituto Immobiliare Italiano.

Educated  at  the  University  La  Sapienza  in  Rome  and  at  Lancaster University  in  UK,  he  published  various  articles  on  competition, regulation and industrial policy issues.

His most recent publications are  “Tomorrow  is  another  day!  Merger  review  and  counterfactual analysis”,  Italian  Antitrust  Review,  Rome, 2014, “Il buyer power tra tutela della concorrenza e tutela del contraente debole”, in Collected Papers in Honour of Giuseppe Tesauro, Edizioni Scientifiche, Napoli, 2014,  and  “Buyer  Power  and  Mortar  Retailers  to  Digital  Platforms”,  Economia  e  Politica Competition  Policy:  from  Brick-and- Industriale, Vol. 41 (4), with Antonio Buttà. In 2010, with Lapo Berti, he  wrote  “Le  stagioni  dell’antitrust.  Dalla  tutela  della  concorrenza alla tutela del consumatore”, Egea, Milano.



Gustavo Piga, Ph. D. in Economics at Columbia University, is Full Professor of Economics and Vice Rector for International Affairs at the University of Rome Tor Vergata.
He has chaired the Italian Procurement Agency for Goods and Services, Consip Ltd., between 2002 and 2005.
A macroeconomist and a blogger,, besides several scientific papers he is the author of the renowned Derivatives in Public Debt Management and co-editor of a number of books, among which of the Handbook of Procurement, Cambridge University Press, with Nicola Dimitri and Giancarlo Spagnolo and Revisiting Keynes, MIT Press, with Lorenzo Pecchi.


Veronica Pinotti is partner and Head of Italian EU Competition & Regulatory Practice in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery mainly based in its Milan, Rome and Brussels offices. She leads the Italian EU Competition & Regulatory Practice where she focuses on advising Italian and international clients before the European Commission, the Italian and international competition and regulatory authorities, and the civil and administrative courts.
Veronica is admitted and practices since many years in Italy as an Avvocato, in Belgium as an Avocat à la Cour de Bruxelles and in England and Wales as a Solicitor.
She provides strategic advice on the feasibility and authorisation of complex joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions. She brings cutting-edge technical skills and creativity to propose tailor-made solutions, and coordinates with advisors in various jurisdictions who are involved in international transactions.
She has extensive experience in assisting with the management of distribution networks, cartels, abuse of dominance, state aid and issues related to regulated markets, antitrust audits and risk assessments of potential antitrust liabilities within both judicial proceedings and alternative dispute resolution. Veronica also assists clients on consumer protection, unfair competition and misleading advertising, including any potential criminal aspects.
Veronica has over 19 years of European and international regulatory experience, gained while working for 10 years between Brussels (both at the European Commission and in private practice) and London, on major complex global antitrust matters and merger cases.
For many years, she has contributed to a chapter of Butterworths’ UK Competition Law (eds Freeman and Whish) and is author of the Italian chapter of Practical Law Company’s cross-border practice manual International Sales and Marketing and of the Global Legal Insights Italian chapter on cartels. Veronica lectures on antitrust and market regulation at the University of Rome Tor Vergata and at the University of Milan Cattolica.


Gérard POGOREL is Professor of Economics and Management-Emeritus, Telecom ParisTech, France.
Telecom ParisTech is a first-tier European Research and higher education institution. It encompasses all discipline areas, sciences, technologies, social sciences, of relevance to information and telecommunications technologies and the media.

Gerard POGOREL graduated from HEC Paris Graduate School of Management and holds a Doctorate in Economics from Université de Paris Pantheon-Sorbonne..

Gérard POGOREL co-authored in 2014 a report to the Prime Minister of Italy on Broadband for 2020. He chaired the Scientific Committee of the “Spectrum & Innovation” Agence Nationale des Fréquences International Conference held in Paris in June 2013. He was a member of the Organo di Vigilanza, Telecom Italia Open Acess (2008-2012). He acted as co-founder and Chair/Rapporteur of the European Spectrum Management Conferences 2006-2015. He was previously Chair of the European Union Framework Research & Technology Development Programme Monitoring Panel, and Chair of the Monitoring Committee of the EU Information Society and Technologies Research Programme. He participates in numerous Government-level and regulation Authorities Committees and Scientific Committees on telecom and media policy and regulation in Europe, the USA and Asia. He is a member of the international panel of experts for the World Competitiveness Yearbook. Gérard Pogorel is Officier des Palmes Académiques.
He published numerous articles, books, and reports including: “Valuation and pricing of licensed shared access: next generation pricing for next generation spectrum access”(2014), “The digital dividend: radio spectrum, mobile broadband, and the media: Towards a policy framework”, Open Society Institute (2011), “The Radio Spectrum: managing a strategic resource”–with JM Chaduc,, (Wiley-ISTEC London, January 2008), Nine regimes of spectrum management: a 4-step decision guide, Communications & Strategies, April 2007, « Competitive Compliance: streamlining the Regulation process in Telecom and Media», (Communications & Strategies, March 2006), « Digital Terrestrial Television and Digital Convergence: A European Policy Perspective » (with G. Fontaine) in «Towards Digitalisation in Broadcasting: Policy and Practice » Cave M. & Nakamura K, eds, Routledge, 2006, « Towards More Flexible Spectrum Regulation”, WIK-BundesNetzAgentur report (Bonn, 2005, co-author).


Katia Rizzo is the M&A and Corporate Development Executive of Mediaset Group and the Principal of Ad4Venture.

She is an expert of corporate strategy for Media Industries. In her current role, Katia is focused on venture capital markets, business development and M&A activities for the major Italian tv broadcaster.
With over 10 years of experience in digital markets, ecommerce and towers business in the EU & the Asian region, Katia brings an international vision of the markets.
She holds a double degree in Economics from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan and Political Sciences from Statale University of Milan.


Tommaso Salonico is a partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer with competition work and utilities regulation. Based in Rome, he is the head of the Italian “Antitrust, competition and trade” practice group, coordinates the “Energy and Natural Resources” sector group and is the Italian managing partner of the Firm.

Tommaso’s extensive experience includes advising on merger control, cartel and dominance cases, private enforcement and litigation on competition law infringements and damages claims, leniency and compliance and state aid, tariff and unbundling regulation, supply and purchase agreement negotiations, infrastructure project development, including LNG terminal and renewable energy plants. He represents clients challenging regulatory and antitrust rulings before the Italian and EU courts. Before joining the firm in 2000, Tommaso worked for Telecom Italia, where he was in charge of regulatory strategies and competition affairs in the regulation and competition policy department. He also worked for six years at the Italian Antitrust Authority in Rome as director of the department responsible for competition policy in fields such as energy, manufacturing and industry, environment, health services and property.

As a professor of competition law, Tommaso has lectured at the universities of Rome, Naples and Pisa. He is author of various legal publications, in particular on telecoms and energy regulation and competition law. He is also a member of the Competition Committee of the Italian Section of the ICC.


Martino Sforza is an associate in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery Studio Legale Associato, based in its Milan office. He is a member of the EU competition and regulatory team, focusing on advising European and international clients before the European Commission, the national competition and regulatory authorities, and the civil and administrative courts.
Martino is admitted as an Avvocato in Italy (Milan bar). Before joining McDermott Will & Emery, he gained experience from the Italian Competition and EU law group of a leading international law firm.
He has extensive experience in assisting clients active in the e-commerce and online business on antitrust, distribution, consumer protection, data privacy and issues related to regulated markets.
Martino contributes to the Italian chapter of Practical Law Company’s Cross-border Practice Manual “International Sales and Marketing” and co-authored the Global Legal Insights Italian chapter on Cartels – Enforcement, Appeals & Damages Actions and the Pharmaceutical Antitrust Italian Chapter of Getting the Deal Through.


Giancarlo Spagnolo is professor of economics at University of Rome Tor Vergata, research fellow of SITE Stockholm School of Economics and of the Einaudi Institute of Economics and Finance (EIEF), research affiliate of the Centre for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) and senior advisor at Lear.
He is also member of the Executive Committee of the European Association for Research in Industrial Economics (EARIE) and of ENCORE, Amsterdam. Giancarlo has published in leading academic journals, such as Econometrica, the RAND Journal of Economics, the Journal of Economic Theory and the European Economic Review, and is editor of the Handbook of Procurement published by Cambridge University Press (2006). He earned an MPhil from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from the Stockholm School of Economics. Before joining the University of Rome Tor Vergata he taught at the University of Mannheim and at the Stockholm School of Economics. Between 2003 and 2007 he was Head of Research at the Italian Public Procurement Agency (Consip). His main research interests are in the fields of game theory and industrial organization, corporate finance and governance, competition policy, procurement and contract theory. Giancarlo is fluent in English and German.


Tommaso Valletti has a magna cum laude degree in engineering from Turin and holds a MSc and a PhD in economics from the London School of Economics. He is Professor of Economics at Imperial College Business School, and also Professor of Economics at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” (Italy). He has previously taught at the London School of Economics, Telecom ParisTech/Ecole Polytechnique, and Turin.Tommaso’s main research interests are in industrial economics, regulation, and telecommunications economics. Tommaso has held several editorial positions (Editor ofInformation Economics & Policy, Associate Editor of the Journal of Industrial Economics and of Economica). He has published numerous articles in journals such as the American Economic Review,Economic JournalEuropean Economic Review,Information Systems ResearchJournal of the European Economic Association, Journal of Industrial EconomicsJournal of International EconomicsMarketing Science, and RAND Journal of Economics. For a full list see

Tommaso is Academic Director of the Centre for Regulation in Europe( CERRE) in Brussels. He is a Fellow of CEPR and of ENCORE. He is a member of the panel of academic advisors to Ofcom, the UK communications regulator. He was also a member of the panel of academic advisors of the UK Competition Commission. He was a board director of Consip, the Italian Public Procurement Agency, in 2002-2005. He has advised numerous bodies, including the European Commission, OECD, and the World Bank on topics such as network interconnection, mobile telephony markets, and spectrum auctions.


Hal R. Varian is the Chief Economist at Google. He started in May 2002 as a consultant and has been involved in many aspects of the company, including auction design, econometric analysis, finance, corporate strategy and public policy. He is also an emeritus professor at the University of California, Berkeley in three departments: business, economics, and information management.
He received his SB degree from MIT in 1969 and his MA in mathematics and Ph.D. in economics from UC Berkeley in 1973. He has also taught at MIT, Stanford, Oxford, Michigan and other universities around the world. Dr. Varian is a fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, the Econometric Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was Co-Editor of the American Economic Review from 1987-1990 and holds honorary doctorates from the University of Oulu, Finland and the University of Karlsruhe, Germany.
Professor Varian has published numerous papers in economic theory, industrial organization, financial economics, econometrics and information economics. He is the author of two major economics textbooks which have been translated into 22 languages. He is the co-author of a bestselling book on business strategy, Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy and wrote a monthly column for the New York Times from 2000 to 2007.


Simonetta Vezzoso is a senior researcher and professor of Competition Policy and Intellectual Property at the University of Trento, Italy.
Simonetta teaches and writes in the fields of competition policy, intellectual property, and innovation economics and management. Her areas of expertise include vertical restraints, merger control, abuse of dominance in high-tech sectors, along with European and international copyright law.
Simonetta graduated summa cum laude from the Law Faculty of the University of Milan and holds a PhD in economics from the University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany. She is qualified as a solicitor in Italy and has also practiced in Munich. After graduation, she spent two years as a visiting fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition and a year as a visiting fellow at the Economics Faculty of the University of Marburg. Simonetta is a non-governmental advisor to the International Competition Network, a consultant on international copyright law to library associations, and a fellow of the Open Forum Academy.


Vincenzo Zeno-Zencovich is professor of comparative law in the University of Roma Tre where he also teaches, or has taught, EU Transport Law and Media & ICT Law. He is chairman of the Italian Association of comparative law. He has published or edited over 30 books in these fields and, more in general, on regulatory aspects of EU law.



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Keynote speakers and discussants
David Abecassis 
(Analysys Mason); Svend Albaek (DG Comp); Elena Argentesi (Lear and University of Bologna); Susan Athey (Stanford University); Paolo Buccirossi (Lear); Emilio Calvano (CSEF-University of Naples Federico II); Lorenzo Ciari (ERBD); Kate Collyer (Competition and Market Authority); Alexandre de Cornière (University of Oxford); Marco D’Ostuni (Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton); John Fingleton (Fingleton Associates); Sven-Olof Fridolfsson (Swedish Competition Authority); Joshua Gans (University of Toronto); Damien Geradin (George Mason University and Tilburg University); Justus Haucap (DICE); Alberto Heimler (Scuola Superiore della Pubblica Amministrazione – SNA); Ali Hortacsu (Chicago University); Michael Katz (University of California, Berkeley); Jonathan Levin (Stanford University); Preston McAfee (Microsoft); Antonio Nicita (AGCOM and University of Rome La Sapienza); Andrea Pezzoli (AGCM); Gustavo Piga (University of Rome Tor Vergata); Veronica Pinotti (McDermott & Will Emery); Gerard Pogorel (Telecom ParisTech); Katia Rizzo (Mediaset); Tommaso Salonico (Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer); Martino Sforza (McDermott & Will Emery);  Giancarlo Spagnolo (SITE, Tor Vergata, EIEF, CEPR); Tommaso Valletti (Imperial College London); Hal Varian (Google); Simonetta Vezzoso (University of Trento); Vincenzo Zeno-Zencovich (University of Roma Tre) and others.


 DAY 1 – Thursday, June 25th, 2015

9:00 – 10:00 Welcome coffee and registration
10.00 – 13.00

The Economics of Peer-to-Peer Markets
In the last few years a new set of Internet marketplaces has begun to challenge existing businesses such as the taxi and hotel industry. Some of these businesses, such as Airbnb and Uber, have come under intense regulatory scrutiny. Why have these businesses emerged and what problems do their marketplaces have to solve? To what extent are these new peer-to-peer markets an improvement on traditional business models? What are the parallels and differences with earlier Internet marketplaces for e-commerce, consumer lending and skilled labor? Finally, how should regulatory policy treat peer-to-peer marketplaces, especially when they are competing against established industries? This talk will describe recent research in this area, and try to draw some tentative conclusions.

Chair: Gustavo Piga (University of Rome Tor Vergata)

Keynote Speaker: Jonathan Levin (Stanford University) Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24 Slides

John Fingleton (Fingleton Associates)
Kate Collyer (Competition and Markets Authority)Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24 Slides

Media and the Internet
The Internet has largely changed the way people become informed and has led to the appearance of new operators. Among these, there are news aggregators such as Google News and Yahoo! News. News aggregators have had a significant impact on competition in the media markets and several competition authorities have conducted investigations to ascertain whether their conducts were compliant with antitrust rules. Traditional news operators have complained that news aggregators, which do not often pay for the content they display on their website, undermine the incentive of authors and other market participants to create content. The same criticism may hold true for other media, such as TV or cinema, with respect to websites that allow end consumers to watch TV programs or movies without any contractual relationship with the content creator. What are the effects of these new media on consumer welfare in the short and in the long run? Do news aggregators or video portals compete in the same relevant market as the traditional media? Do they enjoy a significant market power? Is the application of competition law the proper remedy for any market distortion that may result from their activity?

Chair: Veronica Pinotti (McDermott Will & Emery)

Keynote Speaker: Susan Athey (Stanford University)Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24 Slides

Antonio Nicita (AGCOM and University of Rome La Sapienza)Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24 Slides
Katia Rizzo (Mediaset)Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24 Slides

14.30 – 18.30

Search and Competition
The markets for search-based and online advertising differentiate themselves among many levels with respect to most markets. These features include network effects, double-sidedness, and high levels of R&D and innovation. Antitrust enforcement has thus a difficult job. With respect to recent notorious cases such as Google’s, what are the effects of an antitrust intervention on innovation? Do competitors in the search engine market work properly and in the interest of consumers? Does Google enjoy monopoly power?

Chair: Gerard Pogorel (Telecom ParisTech)

Keynote Speaker: Hal Varian (Google)Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24 Slides

Justus Haucap (Dusseldorf Institute for Competition Economics)Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24 Slides
Alexandre de Cornière (University of Oxford)Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24 Slides

Internet as a distribution channel: dynamics and policy challenges

In the past decades, the Internet has become a very active distribution channel, disrupting traditional modes of distribution, bringing benefits to consumers as well as generating new business opportunities for firms. The market structure of distribution has changed dramatically in many sectors, and suppliers have had to rethink their distribution strategies. These changes give rise to new concerns on the much-debated antitrust issue of Vertical Restraints (VRs). VRs may be introduced in order to improve the vertical structure by reducing transaction costs, improving the stability of supplies, and as a device to align the two firms’ interests. Certain types of VRs may also soften competition. The nature of competition taking place in the digital environment as well as competition between traditional and on-line retailers has not been fully understood yet. Antitrust agencies and courts are still exploring this new field, and this could generate uncertainty in decisions and judgments.

Chair: Vincenzo Zeno-Zencovich (University of Roma Tre)

Keynote Speaker: Ali Hortacsu (Chicago University)Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24 Slides

Svend Albaek (European Commission – DG COMP)Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24 Slides
Andrea Pezzoli (AGCM)Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24 Slides

18.45 – 20.30

 Aperitif & Sightseeing* 

* For those curious to explore more of what Rome has to offer, there will be a private visit of Villa Farnesina, a Renaissance creation of unequalled beauty and refinement decorated with the famous “Triumph of Galatea” by Raffaello


DAY 2 – Friday June 26th, 2015

9.30 – 11.00

Across-Platform Parity Agreements
It is widespread among online platforms to require their sellers not to offer better prices or conditions on other selling platforms; this clause is often referred to as Price Parity clause, or Retail Most Favoured Nation due to its similarities to the MFN clause. Despite much analysis efforts made from several agencies around the world, there is still scant literature on the topic. Some initial reflections on their competitive effects are provided in a recent report prepared by Lear for the OFT (Lear, 2012). They defined these pricing arrangements as Across-Platforms Parity Agreements (APPA). An MFN is a clause normally embedded in long-term contracts between two firms for the provision of intermediate goods or raw materials whereby the supplier undertakes to apply to the buyer the best price conditions among those applied to any other buyer. Although some similarity exists between MFNs and APPAs, the two have to be distinguished and it would be wrong to derive clear policy implications from the literature on MFNs. Since 2010, this clause has been enforced by prominent platforms such as Amazon,, HRS (the German leading OTA), Apple on its iBookstore and many more. Whether such clause should raise any competitive concern is still a much-debated issue among both policymakers and academics.

Chair: Tommaso Salonico (Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer)

Keynote Speaker: Paolo Buccirossi (Lear)Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24 Slides

Giancarlo Spagnolo (SITE – Stockholm School of Economics, U. of Tor Vergata, EIEF & CEPR)Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24 Slides
Sven-Olof Fridolfsson (Swedish Competition Authority)Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24 Slides

Coffee Break

11.30 – 13.00


Two-Sided Platforms and Competition Policy: What have we really learned?
Multi-sided platforms create value by bringing two or more different types of economic agents together and allowing them to interact. These platforms play critical roles in many economically important industries such as Internet-based ones. By smoothing direct connections between multiple types of affiliated customers, MSPs most often lead to network effects. From a theoretical point of view, MSPs subvert classical economic models. This very nature may affect antitrust analysis in all of its aspects, from cartels to monopolizations because the interrelationship between pricing and output has to be accounted for on all sides and exploitation of one side of the market is not necessarily an indicator of market power. To what extent the development of two-sided market theory has influenced actual antitrust practice? Has that influence been beneficial?

Chair: Alberto Heimler (Scuola Superiore della Pubblica Amministrazione – SNA)Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24 Slides

Keynote Speaker: Michael Katz (University of California, Berkeley)Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24 Slides

Tommaso Valletti (Imperial College of London and University of Rome Tor Vergata)Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24 Slides
Simonetta Vezzoso (Università degli Studi di Trento)Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24 Slides

14.30 – 18.00

Competition in Advertising Markets
Advertising markets, including over the air TV, Internet display advertising and search advertising, have a very complex structure. Consumers are not typically paying for content so there is no price signal – competition for users is in product quality and reputation. Web search product quality involves algorithms, an extensive web crawl, information retrieval technology and voluminous, fresh data. Reaching their target audiences may require advertisers to advertise on all platforms, creating pressure for standardization to minimize costs, which conflicts with innovation.

Chair: Marco D’Ostuni (Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton)

Keynote Speaker: Preston McAfee (Microsoft)Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24 Slides

Elena Argentesi (Lear and Università di Bologna)Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24 Slides
Martino Sforza (McDermott & Will Emery)Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24 Slides

Recommendation Systems Competition
Recommender Systems are software tools and techniques providing suggestions for items to which consumers are potentially interested. Billions of consumers rely daily on these systems to decide what music to listen to (iTunes), which movie to watch (Netflix), what product to purchase (Amazon) or which restaurant to patronize (Yelp). By controlling consumers’ informational environment these agents can distort consumption choices. What are their incentives? Is recommendation bias a manifestation of market power? To what extent is competition a disciplining force?

Keynote Speaker: Emilio Calvano (CSEF-University of Naples Federico II)Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24 Slides

Personal Data and Competition
Consumer data have always represented a valuable asset for marketeers and firms alike. Indeed, better information on consumers let firms tailor their offer to address specific customer needs. This can benefit both firms and consumers and eventually increase total welfare. Thanks to technological advances, it is now possible to collect an even increasing amount of personal information and this is particularly true for all those market and non-market activities that are mediated through technology. Firms that hold and control a high volume of quality personal data can offer better products and services (to customers or, as it is common within an ad-funded business model, to advertisers) and, as a consequence, reap higher profits, as they “monetize” the information they have collected. Some critics argue that such a control might be detrimental to the competitive process as the firm that control key information might foreclose actual or potential competitors from the market. This might be particularly relevant when consumer data have been acquired through potentially anticompetitive practices (exclusivity agreements) and in a context in which the quality and value of collected data is subject to network externalities (the more sources used to collect information the higher the quality and value of the collected information). Should the private control over online detailed consumer level data raise specific anticompetitive constraints? Is there the risk to foreclose efficient competitors if they have no access to the bulk of information held by incumbents? Is the consumer surplus negatively affected by the concentration in the control over personal data?

Chair: Lorenzo Ciari (ERBD)

Keynote Speaker: Joshua Gans (University of Toronto)Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24 Slides

Damien Geradin (George Mason University and Tilburg University)Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24 Slides
David Abecassis (Analysys Mason)Adobe_PDF_file_icon_24x24 Slides

English is the official language of the Conference. There will be simultaneous translation into English and Italian at the plenary sessions.

Italian lawyers get 13 credits from the BAR Association for attending

* Please note that the program is still subject to minor changes.


Download the program




Villa Farnesina, Palazzina dell’Auditorio
Via della Lungara 230 – Rome

Villa Farnesina is situated in the area of Trastevere, opposite the Corsini Palace. The Sienese banker, Agostino Chigi, named “magnifico” by his contemporaries, acquired the villa, which had been completed in 1509 by Baldassarre Peruzzi, a Sienese architect of great renown. The villa, a wonderful example of Renaissance art, was decorated by such famous painters as Raffaello, Sebastiano del Piombo, Giovanni Antonio Bazzi (called Sodoma), Giulio Romano and Peruzzi himself, and it was furnished with such magnificence that it aroused general admiration. In the rooms of the Villa high prelates, noblemen, poets, men of letters and artists used to meet; comedies were performed there and sumptuous banquets were held. After Agostino Chigi’s death, the villa was bought by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (from whom the Villa takes its name). It passed to the Bourbon family in 1714; and finally a long lease of the villa at ground rent was given to the Spanish Ambassador Bermudez de Castro, Duke of Ripetta, who later redeemed it. The Italian State bought the Villa from the Duke’s heirs and in 1928 it was destined to become the home of the Reale Accademia d’Italia. After the suppression of the Accademia d’Italia in 1944, the villa became the property of the Lincei Academy, which, by law, had succeeded the suppressed Academy.

To read more click here

Villa FarnesinaVilla Farnesina Affresco della ninfa Galatea - Raffaello Sanzio




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