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Semester 1

Fundamentals of Competition Law (LAWS10156)







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**This course is only open to visiting students coming through a direct exchange with the School of Law (including Erasmus students on a Law-specific Exchange). Exchange students outside of Law and independent study abroad students are not eligible to enrol in this course, with no exceptions.** Please note that 3rd year Law courses are high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces. These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces. If there is sufficient space for other visiting students to enrol at the start of the semester, visiting students must have completed at least 3 Law courses, INCLUDING a course equivalent to European Union Law A (LAWS08116), at grade B or above to qualify for this course; we will only consider University/College level courses. This course cannot be taken alongside European Union Ordinary A (LAWS08125).

Course Summary

The course aims to give students an understanding of the rules governing genuine competition in the marketplace in United Kingdom, as enshrined (primarily) in the Competition Act and the Enterprise Act. Because the UK rules are drawn directly from EU law, which was itself part of our law until January 2021 and will continue to influence, directly and indirectly, UK law, there will continue to be significant consideration of the relevant EU sources, principles and practices, with additional comparison to other competition laws (primarily American and German) as appropriate. Central topics for analysis include: - basic economics of competition law: 'the marriage of law and economics'; - the notion of 'restriction of competition' generally and in relation to the most important types of restraints among undertakings; - the concept of collusion, express or tacit, among competitors; - the notion of abuse of market power; - the enforcement of the Competition rules in the EU and in the UK, through administrative, judicial and criminal means.

Course Description

The indicative teaching programme: - Introduction to basic economic concepts: what is 'competition'? Types of markets; the concept of consumer welfare; market power; schools of antitrust. - The purpose of competition law in EU and UK law. - The scope of the jurisdiction of, respectively, EU and UK competition laws. - 'The Chapter I prohibition': the prohibition of cartels: the elements; agreements and concerted practices; horizontal and vertical restraints; the rule of reason; the role and purpose of the 'exemption clauses'. - 'The Chapter II prohibition': abuse of a dominant position. Definition of relevant market; dominance; forms of abusive conduct; joint dominance and oligopolistic markets. - Enforcement of competition law: the nature and structure of competition proceedings; the role and powers of the European Commission and of the Competition and Markets Authority; judicial control of both; civil remedies; criminal enforcement; the continuing application of EU law in the UK.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 100%, Coursework 0%, Practical Exam 0%

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