LLM International Economic Law

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Postgraduate Competition Law in an International Context

Course unit fact file
Unit code LAWS60172
Credit rating 30
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Law
Available as a free choice unit? No


Competition law in an international context focuses on the law in a variety of jurisdictions, in particular the European Union and the United States, but also specific jurisdictions such as the UK. It explores the key concepts that animate competition law enforcement worldwide and examines particular business phenomena such as mergers and acquisitions, distribution agreements, cartels, and joint ventures in the light of relevant legislation and case law.

The course will reflect upon the substantive competition law principles with a focus on anti-competitive agreements and the abusive behaviour of dominant firms. This involves a consideration of both horizontal and vertical agreements and a range of exploitative and exclusionary behaviours, such as predatory pricing, tying and bundling, margin squeeze and refusals to supply. The course will also provide an insight and an understanding of how economic analysis affects the development and the application of competition law. 

Competition law is an exciting area of law. It considers issues which are fascinating to study in a comparative context. It is inter-disciplinary working at the confluence of law and economics and works to ensure that businesses do not restrict or distort competition in a free market economy. 

Competition law has become increasingly important in a world of shrinking borders and is of major practical importance to businesses and consumers. Competition law is not only a necessity for today’s lawyers, but also hard to escape when reading today’s newspaper. Think about the various cases pending against Google and previous cases against for example Intel, Sotheby’s & Christie, Microsoft, British Airway/Virgin Atlantic, Coca Cola and AKZO Chemicals. Competition law is increasingly evolving not only to meet the demands of the digital economy but also to grapple with public interest considerations of privacy, sustainability and even inequality and human rights.


  • To develop the necessary knowledge and skills to understand the dynamic of law and economics;
  • To develop an understanding of the relationship between the theoretical legal and economic concepts underpinning competition law and the legal mechanisms used to maintain competitive markets;
  • To encourage an understanding of the different approaches taken to competition law across a number of jurisdictions;
  • To understand the different competition policy goals driving competition law in jurisdictions such as the EU, the UK and the US;
  • To develop the students' ability to utilities material from different disciplines and legal systems;
  • Introduce students to an inter-disciplinary and comparative analysis.

Teaching and learning methods

E-learning will include the use of Blackboard. Besides posting the lecture handout and lecture notes, Blackboard will be used as a forum for discussion of specific topics and posting recent developments. Past exam papers will be posted on Blackboard as well as a mock examination. 

Knowledge and understanding

Knowledge of the relationship between competition law and economics;

Knowledge of the important policy considerations underpinning competition policy;

Knowledge of EU competition lawand how it compares with other jurisdictions laws.

Intellectual skills

Ability to use analytical skills to evaluate competition law;

Ability to express complex legal and economic concepts in writing;

Capable of distinguishing anti-competitive behaviour from aggressive competition.

Practical skills

Acknowledge when and how to notify a merger to the different competition authorities;

Knowing where to go and how to blow the whistle on a cartel;

Knowing who to contact and how in case of abuse of dominance in a particular the market;

Being able to advice clients on competition law issues.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Students will obtain problem solving skills as they are asked to prepared problem questions for some classes;

Students will develop their oral skills as they will be asked questions in class and may be asked to present cases in class.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 100%

Recommended reading

Core Text: 

Jones, Sufrin and Dunne, EU Competition Law: Texts, Cases & Materials, (7th ed, OUP, 2019) 

Recommended Texts

Lianos, Korah, and Siciliani Competition Law:  Analysis, Cases, and Materials (OUP, 2019) 

Whish & Bailey, Competition Law (10th ed Oxford, OUP, 2021) 


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 3

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Amber Darr Unit coordinator

Additional notes

The examination in this module is open book. 


See the Law School PG timetable. 


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