Nicolas Petit

Visiting Fellow

Nicolas Petit is a full professor of law at the University of Liege (Belgium) and a research professor at the University of South Australia (UniSA).

In 2017 he received the Global Competition Review (GCR) award for academic excellence. In 2013 he was awarded the prize for the best law book at the French Supreme Court. Petit belongs to the top fifty law authors on the research repository His papers are regularly cited in court.

Petit’s current research focuses on three areas: antitrust and digital economy firms, patent protection as an engine of innovation, and law creation in a context of technological evolution. His recent written work deals with the limits of antitrust economics in relation to technology giants and the legal frictions created by the introduction of artificial intelligence in society.

Petit has been a research fellow at Harvard Law School. He received an MA in Law from the Pantheon-Assas University in Paris (II) and an LL.M from the College of Europe in Bruges. He completed his PhD at the University of Liege. He practiced law with a leading US law firm in Brussels and also served as a clerk at the Commercial Chamber of the French Supreme Court.

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Recent Commentary


Hoover IP2 To Convene Conference On Fourth Industrial Revolution In Brussels

quoting Stephen Haber, Richard Sousa, Nicolas Petit, Alexander Galetovicvia Hoover IP2
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Fourth Industrial Revolution—the fusion of digital technologies, characterized by big data, artificial intelligence, robotics, smartphones, and autonomous vehicles—will affect how people work, communicate, and travel. Hoover IP² has organized a conference, “Institutions and Regulation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” that addresses a core public policy question: What institutions, policies, rules, and regulations will maximize individual benefits and economic surplus as the Fourth Industrial Revolution takes root?

American tech giants are fiercely competitive monopolies

by Nicolas Petitvia ESB
Tuesday, January 8, 2019

In virtually every country, antitrust agencies and regulators characterize US tech giants as monopolists. The press now refers to them as ‘big tech’, the ‘frightful 5’, or FAANGs (for Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google). Do they deserve to be vilified as monopolists regulated like public utilities or even broken up?

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You Could Google It

by Richard Sousa, Nicolas Petitvia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 29, 2018
Economic analysis makes it clear: the efforts to break up big tech companies just don’t compute.

Five questions for antitrust expert Nicolas Petit on Silicon Valley’s mega-companies

by Nicolas Petit
Thursday, September 13, 2018

The denizens of Silicon Valley (and Seattle) have picked up a slew of nicknames: GAFA (for Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon); FAANG (add Netflix in there); or, most ominously, the Frightful Five (sub out Netflix, sub in Microsoft). The central charge is these firms are monopolizing their respective markets, and have achieved such dominance that their market positions are now unchallengable. The side effects may include dampened innovation, reduced labor power, and any number of democracy-is-in-peril concerns.

Analysis and Commentary

The Misguided Assault On The Consumer Welfare Standard In The Age Of Platform Markets

by A. Douglas Melamed, Nicolas Petitvia SSRN
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

This paper discusses the recent scholarly and policy attack against the consumer welfare (“CW”) standard. It shows that the CW standard is not the explanatory factor for perceived low levels of antitrust enforcement in the US. The arguments made against the CW standard reflect a misunderstanding of its purpose and effects. Moreover, any deviation from the CW framework would likely weaken antitrust enforcement in the platform age.

EU Engaged In Antitrust Gerrymandering Against Google

by Nicolas Petit
Tuesday, July 31, 2018

With its $5 billion fine against Google, the European Commission (EC) just applied to the search giant an old U.S. political trick: gerrymandering; the idea that if antitrust watchdogs draw markets narrowly enough, every company can be made to look like an evil monopolist.


'Big Is Bad' Narrative Is Simply Untrue In High-Tech Sector

by Richard Sousa, Nicolas Petitvia The Hill
Saturday, June 16, 2018

The May jobs report came in with good news for employment growth. Some members of the economics profession, however, have been busy bashing big firms for their destructive effects on American workers.