Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Competition Law in an International Context

Course unit fact file
Unit code LAWS30451
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
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 has become increasingly important in a world of shrinking borders and is of major practical importance to businesses and consumers throughout the world.

Competition law operates to protect the free market economy by sanctioning business activities that restrict or distort competition. 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 and abuses of dominant position such as predatory pricing, tying and bundling and refusals to supply.

The course will primarily reflect upon the EU competition law as a model for competition regimes in many other areas of the world. It will also draw upon examples from the United States and the United Kingdom. Throughout, the course will evaluate substantive competition principles as well as the economic analysis that underpins these principles.


  • To develop the necessary knowledge and skills to understand the dynamic of law and economics in the context of competition law
  • 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 reflect on competition decisions from a range of competition enforcement authorities and jurisdictions;
  • To develop the students’ ability to apply competition principles to fact based scenarios

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 in the context of competition law;

Knowledge of the important considerations underpinning competition policy.

Knowledge of commercial practices and how these may be affected by competition law.

Intellectual skills

Ability to use analytical skills to evaluate competition issues;

Ability to recognise issues in complex competition judgments;

Ability to express complex legal and economic concepts in writing;

Ability to recognise anti-competitive behaviour in its various forms; Ability to identify clauses restricting competition.

Practical skills

Identifying competition issues in fact based scenarios

Knowing when and how to notify a merger in the EU context;

Knowing where to go and how to "blow the whistle" on a cartel under EU Competition law;

Knowing who to contact 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 assignment (inc essay) 100%

Recommended reading


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

Colino, Competition Law of the EU and UK (8th ed, Oxford, OUP, 2019)


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

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

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Seminars 5
Tutorials 10

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Amber Darr 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. Pre-requisites: none


See Law School UG Timetable


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