LLB Law / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
Competition Law in an International Context

Course unit fact file
Unit code LAWS30452
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Law
Available as a free choice unit? No


Competition law in an International Context is an exciting area of law, working at the confluence of law and economics; it tries to ensure that businesses do not restrict or distort competition in a free market economy. Competition is considered beneficial, because when firms compete for customers, they are encouraged to produce the best quality products or services through innovation at the minimum price, which is good for consumers.

The course explores the key concepts that animate competition law in particular business phenomena such as mergers and acquisitions, distribution agreements, cartels (the operation and impact of leniency programmes and the criminalisation of hardcore offences), and joint ventures will be considered in the light of relevant legislation and case law.

The course will reflect upon the substantive law with a focus on the control of the behaviour of dominant firms. This involves a consideration of a range of exploitative and exclusionary behaviours, such as predatory pricing, bundling and tying, discrimination 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 has become increasingly important in a world of shrinking borders and is of major practical importance to businesses and consumers.



- 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 develop the students’ ability to utilise material from different disciplines and legal systems;

Learning outcomes


Teaching and learning methods

30 hours of lectures, five hours of (fortnightly) seminars and 10 hours of (weekly) direction and feedback drop in sessions.

There will be a number of lectures supported by seminar classes. The latter will be interactive where the students are asked to prepare a problem or essay question in advance or a number of cases with related questions.

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

Knowledge and understanding

Knowledge of the relationship between law and economics;

Knowledge of the important policy considerations underpinning competition policy.


Knowledge of commercial practices and how they may be effected by competition law.

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;
Reviewing and identify clauses restricting 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 advise 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 seminar classes;
Students will develop their oral skills as they will be asked questions in lectures and seminars.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 67%
Written assignment (inc essay) 33%

Recommended reading


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


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

Whish & Bailey, Competition Law (8th ed Oxford, OUP, 2015)

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Michael Wardhaugh Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Open book examination.

Restricted to: FINAL YEAR STUDENTS ONLY on the BA (Law with Politics); LLB (Law with Politics); LLB (Law); LLB (Law with Criminology) degrees, Chemistry with Patent Law.

Note: LAWS30452 will be combined with the Postgraduate Competition Law module.  Both cohorts of students will attend the same lectures, but the seminars and evaluation will differ.

Pre-requisites: none

See Law School UG Timetable


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