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2023/2024  KAN-CCMVV2423U  Digital Markets & Strategy

English Title
Digital Markets & Strategy

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 80
Study board
Study Board for cand.merc. and GMA (CM)
Course coordinator
  • Paul Hünermund - Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI)
Main academic disciplines
  • Innovation
  • Strategy
  • Economics
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 15-02-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
At the end of the course students should be able to:
  • Understand how digital markets work
  • Pinpoint the differences between digital markets and traditional, mainly offline markets
  • Formulate profitable business strategies in digital markets
  • Discuss the platform business model of companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, AliBaba, Booking, etc.
  • Recognize crucial economic principles governing the platform economy such as network effects and multi-sidedness
  • ● Understand real-world cases and policy questions that stakeholders (including companies, policy makers, and economic consulting firms like Implement Economics) are dealing with at the moment in the area of digital markets
  • Discuss the role of antitrust and regulation in the digital age
  • Put into perspective the current policy discussions around digital markets (e.g., related to market dominance, mergers and acquisitions, and ecosystem failures) at the European level
Prerequisites for registering for the exam (activities during the teaching period)
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved (see section 13 of the Programme Regulations): 1
Compulsory home assignments
Approval of 1 out of 2 activities as prerequisite for taking part in the ordinary exam:

1. Case study (students are asked to work on a case in the area of digital competition and to submit an answer to the case questions in form of a slide deck in groups)
2. Oral presentation in class

Student will not have extra attempts to get the required number of compulsory activities approved prior to the ordinary exam. Prior to the retake the student will be given an extra attempt, which consists of a 10 page assignment that will cover the required number of compulsory activities. If approved, the student will be able to attend the retake. Please note that students must have made an effort in the allocated assignments throughout the course. Students that do not participate in the assignments (no show/U) are not entitled to the extra assignment and will have to wait until the next ordinary exam to complete the course.
Digital Markets & Strategy:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Case based assignment
Release of assignment The Assignment is released in Digital Exam (DE) at exam start
Duration 2 weeks to prepare
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The ongoing digitalization of our economy is affecting business models and changing the nature of competition in fundamental ways. Because of their multi-sidedness, network effects, and heavy dependence on technologies such as machine learning and AI, digital markets often work quite differently from traditional, mostly offline markets. This poses new important challenges for managers who are faced with the problem of digital disruption as well as for policy makers and enforcers across the globe who have to police these new competitive dynamics taming the new market power of Big Tech firms. This course will provide students with fresh perspectives and analytical frameworks to better understand these ongoing developments in the digital sphere. Topics that will be discussed throughout the course relate to, among others: platform-based business models, innovation eco-systems, envelopment strategies, consumer search behavior, recommender systems, data and algorithms as a strategic resource, as well as current policy discussions around blockchain technologies, artificial intelligence, and the potential abuse of market power in the tech sector.


The course has an applied nature, combining business strategy and economic theory to discuss practical cases and policy developments, which are shaping the way digital markets will work in Europe and globally going forward. It is envisaged for both business and economics students with an interest in digital markets. You will learn how to develop different value-creating strategies in digital markets, how they may be constrained by competition policy and what the main topics on the current agenda of European policy makers are. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to see economic theory at work in digital markets and to understand the building blocks of current policy discussions at the European level and antitrust cases involving big tech. In this way the course provides students with a solid toolbox and broad knowledge that is used by both strategy teams at tech firms and big corporates, policy makers and advisors. Intermediate microeconomics and basic knowledge of game theory is a useful prerequisite to follow this course.


As a preparation for the exam assignment, the course will feature a case competition, organized in collaboration with Implement Economics ­– part of the Implement Consulting Group. This cooperation creates the opportunity to offer a more practical perspective on some of the theoretical topics and to draw from real-life cases in the area of digital competition.

Description of the teaching methods
Teaching is based on in-class lectures, online modules, and case discussions.
Feedback during the teaching period
Students will receive continuous feedback on case discussions in class. Furthermore, the course will contain a group-based case exercise, which students will receive individualized feedback on.
Student workload
Teaching 33 hours
Preparation 123 hours
Exam 40 hours
Case preparation 10 hours
Expected literature

Some selected literature (more will be announced in the syllabus):


  • Goldfarb, A., and C. Tucker (2019). Digital Economics. Journal of Economic Literature, 57(1): 3–43.
  • Motta, Massimo (2004) Competition Policy. Theory and Practice. Chapter: “Competition Policy: History, Objectives, and the Law”
  • Cennamo, C. and J. Santalo (2013). Platform competition: Strategic trade-offs in platform markets. Strategic Management Journal, 34: 1331–50 
  • Cunningham, C., F. Ederer, and S. Ma (2021). Killer Acquisitions. Journal of Political Economy, 129(3): 649–702.
  • Agrawal, A., J. Gans, and A. Goldfarb (2019). Economic policy for artificial intelligence. Innovation Policy and the Economy, 19(1):139-59.
  • Calvano, E., G. Calzolari, V. Denicolò, and S. Pastorello (2020). Artificial Intelligence, Algorithmic Pricing, and Collusion. American Economic Review, 110 (10): 3267–97.
  • Cennamo, C., and D. Sokol (2021). Can the EU regulate platforms without stifling innovation? Harvard Business Review
  • Carlton, D. and M. Waldman (2002). The Strategic Use of Tying to Preserve and Create Market Power in Evolving Industries. RAND Journal of Economics, 33 (2): 194–220 
  • Catalini, C. and J. Gans (2016). Some Simple Economics of the Blockchain. Communications of the ACM, 63(7).
Last updated on 15-02-2023