BWiWi 3.5: Industrial Organization

In reality, free markets characterized by fierce competition and free market entry are the exception rather than the rule. Firms pursue a variety of competitive strategies to achieve dominance and maintain market power. This course uses case studies and industrial economic models to provide a broader, more realistic picture of firm behavior in real markets and to understand the variety of competitive strategies pursued by, for example, Internet companies, electronics firms, pharmaceutical companies, and automobile manufacturers. At the same time, this course examines how antitrust authorities can identify and prevent anticompetitive behavior by firms. Two main questions explored in this course are: How do firms acquire, use, and maintain market power? How can antitrust authorities deal with anticompetitive activities by firms that restrict competition at the expense of consumers and/or competitors?
This course addresses competitive strategies of firms in imperfectly competitive markets and the resulting market dynamics. Considered are advanced pricing strategies of firms, strategic interaction of firms in oligopoly markets, market entry, endogenous determinants of industry structure, and strategies of firms with respect to decisions such as product differentiation, vertical integration, advertising, and innovation. 

By the end of this course, students will understand the basic concepts of Industrial Organization (IO) and will be able to apply concepts, theories, and methods to describe, analyze, and compare structures and processes in real world markets. Students will be able to evaluate competitive strategies of firms in imperfectly competitive markets and assess the capabilities of antitrust authorities in dealing with anticompetitive activities of firms.

The language of instruction (lectures, exercises) is English. This also applies to the teaching materials and the literature accompanying the lectures and tutorials. The exam can be taken either in English or in German.

Basic knowledge of microeconomics.

Due to a change this course will be offered in the upcoming winter semester 2022/23 as well as in the summer semsester 2023. Subsequently it will only be offered in the winter semester.

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