Research Students

Adnan Farook

Inaccurate definition of relevant product market for search engines leading to possible evasion of appropriate anti-trust enforcement

Adnan's research focuses on the relevant markets of search engines. When one looks at many of the legal situations large search engines have been in, one notices that the product market is defined according to the supposed substitutes available. The market has been defined in a way as if large online search engines are in a market with many competitors. This sort of definition has allowed the legal authorities to define the market too widely, which in turn makes the large search engines seem less powerful then they actually are. So in turn, search engines can get away with maintaining their anti-competitive practices. The product market for search engines should be narrowed down. We cannot include so many substitutes in the product market. This will enable legal authorities to come up with more sound decisions in terms of regulating search engines.

Adnan studied law at undergraduate and postgraduate level at Cardiff University and worked as a civil litigator prior to starting his PhD in the University of Reading.

Natasha Georgiou

Energy Regulation in International Trade: Legal Challenges in EU-Russia Energy Relations from an Investment Protection Perspective

The objectives of Natasha's research are multiple but its general purpose is to examine the role of international law in EU-Russia energy relations. In particular, to assess whether multilateral energy trade regulation under the ECT and WTO provides an effective legal framework for EU-Russia energy relations, in the context of energy trade and investment. The study will therefore primarily attempt to answer the following research question: to what extent does international law address the gap in the current legal infrastructure and regulate energy in international trade from an investment protection perspective, now that Russia has withdrawn from the ECT. The project will also consider the alternative legal instruments proposed for EU-Russia energy co-operation and the options available following Russia's withdrawal from the ECT. In considering the alternatives, the study will analyse whether the TEP is capable of establishing an enforceable energy regulatory framework between the EU and Russia, in the context of energy trade and investment. The study will also examine whether the competence of the EU on inward FDI related matters and its growing decision making powers regarding investment negotiations and BITs, can ensure investment protection in EU-Russia energy relations.

Natasha holds a University of Reading School of Law Studentship and comes to the School of Law with several years experience as a Senior Legal Consultant/Associate at a top-tier firm in Cyprus where she predominantly worked on cross-border finance transactions with the emerging markets, in particular Russia and the CIS. Natasha has an interdisciplinary academic background with undergraduate degrees completed in South Africa, namely Law and English from the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) and a BA Honours in Greek and Classical Studies from Rand Afrikaans University (RAU). Natasha also holds an LLM in Commercial and Corporate Law from the University of London.

Evelyn Patricia Kirkwood

An examination into the current position with regard to the right to be forgotten as determined under the Google Spain case and subsequent control of personal data and a right to a private life following this decision.

My research will look into the new 'right to be forgotten' with particular reference to the decision reached in the Google Spain case whilst looking into how this impacts expectations of privacy. I will look at how expectations of privacy have changed in this age of social media, the subsequent impact of the right to be forgotten on Google and how it in particular is dealing with the European Court's decision which will also be relevant in considering the current position. It appears that not only have applications to de- link and subsequent decisions been passed to a third party but a lack of transparency has meant no clear understanding on what can be removed. This has resulted in subsequent confusion as to what information can be removed and how much control an individual has over his personal data and ultimate portrayal on the Internet. I aim to bring some clarity to the situation and understand the importance of how use and accessibility of data is required to help the free flow of information as seen to be vital to maintaining economic growth without further prejudicing an individual with regard to data protection and privacy.

I recently completed a LLM is Advanced Legal Studies at the University of Reading. Having studied for a BA in Business Law before qualifying as a solicitor I have spent many years as an in house solicitor and company secretary working primarily in financial services. I started my PhD is September 2016.

Zoi Krokida

How is the online intermediary liability for copyright and trademark infringements regulated and what is the new approach announced by the European Commission in May 2015 as well as its potential challenges on the business model of the online intermediaries and the users.

I will attempt to examine the liability of the online intermediaries for copyright and trademark violations committed on their networks by their users. In particular, I will assess the current regime that regulates the online intermediary liability pursuant to the provisions of the E-Commerce Directive (2000/31/EC), the Enforcement Directive (2004/48/EC), the Copyright Directive ( 2001/29/EC), the bedrock of court rulings handed down by national courts-focusing on the relevant case law in England, Germany and Greece- and the CJEU, as well as the new strategy initiated by the European Commission, the so called "follow the money" approach. Interestingly, by implementing this new strategy, the European policy makers are planning to focus not only on online intermediaries but also on financial intermediaries and advertising processors, such as PayPal and Google AdWords respectively. Advertisers would cut off lawful ads from illegal websites and payment processors might need to monitor and block the transactions of their customers. This has led to a confusion as to which entity should assume legal responsibility and what impact this approach might have on innocent consumers while they purchase goods online. My research's objectives are to assess the existing "blurred" situation, examine the new European initiative and demonstrate what kind of liability should be elucidated in order to preserve the business model of the online intermediaries, but not subordinating the interests of content owners and trademark holders.

I studied law at the Democritus University of Thrace (LL.B) and obtained an LL.M., with specialization in European Commercial Law, from the University of Freiburg. I have been a member of the Athens Bar Association and worked as a lawyer in Greece since 2012.

Miroslava Marinova

Usefulness of the Guidance Paper on the Commission's Enforcement Priorities in Enforcing Article 102 TFEU in the member states and practical implementation of the price - cost test in fidelity rebate cases

Miroslava's research will examine the application of the Guidelines and the use of price - cost test to prove anti-competitive foreclosure in fidelity rebate cases in member states. The Guidance paper outlines a new effect based approach associated with the establishment of the behaviour of a company with dominant position which could exclude competitors within the EU law. The focus of the Guidance paper is directed to a special category of abuse of dominant position which removes competitors, namely by applying different discounts. The Guidance paper raised many lively discussions among competition experts and analysts and a new effect based approach was received enthusiastically. Recently, however, there was a criticism of the Guidance paper, which is mainly related to the legal certainty. All these findings led to the idea to research how the Guidelines are implemented in the member states and whether they are reliable as a proof of anti - competitive behaviour in fidelity rebate cases. Miroslava studied economics at undergraduate level at the University of National and World economy and obtained a Master's Degree in Economics, a Postgraduate Diploma in European Law from Sofia University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Economics for Competition Law (distance learning) from King's College London. Miroslava has been a case handler and worked for the Bulgarian Commission on Protection of Competition since 2004.

Stefanos Merikas

Tramp Shipping Pools: An Assessment under the Scope of EU Competition Law

Stefanos' thesis addresses the issue of the legal assessment of shipping pool agreements between undertakings active in tramp maritime services under the scope of EU competition law (especially Article 101 TFEU) taking into account the specific features of the industry, the special nature of these agreements and their potential pro-competitive effects.
Stefanos studied law at the University of Athens (LL.B), obtained an LL.M., with specialization in Competition Law, from University of London (King's College) and an MSc in Law and Accounting from London School of Economics (LSE). Since 2005 is an attorney-at-law registered in Athens Bar Association and has worked for several years as a legal practitioner.

Pamela Nika

The interaction between monetary policy and banking supervision tasks of the European Central Bank under the existing provisions of the Treaty

Pamela Nika holds a BA in Law from National and Kapodistrian University of Reading and an LLM from University of Reading. She is currently in the process of completing her PhD thesis, which explores the interaction between monetary policy and banking supervision tasks of the European Central Bank under the existing provisions of the Treaty. Her thesis also examines whether the supervisory tasks assigned to European Central Bank with the creation of Single Supervisory Mechanism, could potentially exceed the wording and the intentional meaning of Article 127(6).

Athanassios Skourtis

The Application of a More Economics-based Approach (MEA) and Behavioural Economics in EU Competition Law

Athanassios' research will examine the relationship between the European Commission's "More Economics-Based Approach" to EU Competition Law and the emergence of Behavioural Economics in Antitrust Analysis. The progressing "economisation" of EU Competition Law has been heavily criticised regarding its alleged methodological lacunae and lack of contours, its bringing about a "de-legalisation" of competition law, its compatibility with EU primary law and ECJ jurisprudence, and its affecting legal certainty. Behavioural Economics challenges the basic assumption that all economic players are absolutely rational and claims to be able to detect the antitrust-relevant limitations and biases in human decision-making and to employ the latter in a systematic and predictable manner. Is Behavioural Economics an appropriate tool to inform EU Competition law and policy and address the aforementioned issues and possible shortcomings?

Athanassios studied law at undergraduate level at the University of Athens and obtained an MBLT Degree (Master in Business Law & Taxation) from the University of Mannheim and a Postgraduate Diploma in EC Competition Law (distance learning) from King's College London. He currently holds a scholarship for his doctoral research from the Academy of Athens. Athanassios has been a member of the Athens Bar Association and worked as a lawyer in Greece since 2002.

 

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